Timothy Adès : Poet and Translator

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Ricardo López Méndez (1910–1989): Rebozo de mi Madrecita

Translated by Timothy Adès

Madrecita chula, guardo tu rebozo
como santo cariño, con mi devoción,
Madrecita linda, ¬°qué maravilloso
si yo me lo oprimo sobre el corazón!

Cuando fuiste niña cubrió tu cabeza
y entrabas al templo con él a rezar;
cuando fuiste novia, cubrió tu belleza
y enjugó tu llanto si te vio llorar.

Tu rebozo madre, me sirvió de cuna,
se inició en tus hombros, como en un trigal,
con él me cubriste del sol a la luna,
él era mi cielo y era mi jacal …

El fue tu mortaja, madrecita mía;
La muerte en la noche del ancho llegó:
te arropó en su sombra, miró tu agonía
y el viejo rebozo también te lloró.

Your dear shawl, I keep it, sweetest darling mother,
keep it with devotion, by its warmth caressed.
Darling lovely mother, what a thing of wonder,
when I hold it tightly, hug it to my breast!

When you yet were growing, it concealed your tresses,
graced you in the chapel when you went to pray;
when you came to marry, hid your charming blushes,
if it saw you weeping, wiped your tears away.

Mother, your rebozo served me as a cradle,
first about your shoulders, snug as a cob of corn.
with your shawl you covered me from sun and moonbeam,
it was all my heaven and my humble home …

At the last you wore it, O my darling mother;
death came down from heaven, dark night covered all.
In its shade enfolding, watchful at your dying,
sharing in our sorrow mourned the dear old shawl.

Translation: copyright © Timothy Adès
Beautifully recited by Lucy Tregear at the Mexican evening of Poet in the City, British Museum, February 2010.

Content: copyright © Timothy Adès 2010–2022; all rights reserved

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