Autors i Autores

Margarita Ballester

2. Anglès


Death comes to a stop over me;
it doesn't scare me, but rather comes
under the heading of nuisance.
And life slips by, down the slope,
with its many surplus hours
while death grows in the trees
that are surviving in their place.
There echoes in my head, the vegetal
dimension of the time that I shall not live
and nor will they write for us:
the time of tortoises
and bibliophiles.

(From L'infant i la mort (The Infant and Death), 1989)

* * *


I shall hide my book,
and the bad luck of not having
more than life for writing.
Because I wanted it … All.

(From Els ulls (Eyes), 1995)

* * *


Lick me like a flame
over the living fire of so many loves
not rediscovered in You but in wounds.
Let the heart speak.
Make of me silence.

(From Els ulls (Eyes), 1995)

* * *


Guardi come qui attende
e non vede. Sei terra
che dolora e che tace.


Do you believe that you will give up
on the short cut along the way?
Do you believe we shall one day
stop waiting
like the woman in love waits
for the letter that is
the canopy of flowers
in a garden?
Do you believe we shall bear still more
the weight of the mud
that holds down our feet
while the rain disinters the dead?
Give me a face,
a face that is not abandoned.

(From Paisatge emergent. Trenta poetes catalanes del segle XX (Emerging Landscape. Twenty Catalan Women Poets of the Twentieth Century), 1999)

* * *


Love is conversing with the gods
in the shady paradise of apple and mulberry trees
where the gullies waft you
the damp smells of ancient moons
– dribbling little draught of sodden branches –
without trace of dust or footprints
out of time, out of time.

(From Paisatge emergent. Trenta poetes catalanes del segle XX (Emerging Landscape. Twenty Catalan Women Poets of the Twentieth Century), 1999)

* * *


I have known Pushkin seated and at night
almost dying of pain at his table
considering the death and imprisonment in Siberia
of friends as fragile as he was

and I knew him when the voice took him
irremediably beyond any hope
with only the cuckoo to distract him
in sight of the woods that he dreamed free

and I have known him when I thought I knew well
the other one who died like him
some day in ’37 two centuries ago
and I like to think they breathed as one

at either edge of Europe
they were bearing the hunchback's disgrace.

(From Entre dues espases (Between Two Swords), 2004)

* * *


I have closed my eyes with the twitching eyelids of the child that didn't want to sleep but was already dreaming

I’m in the centre of a closed room, sitting in a chair, overcome by the weariness brought on by the voices that all come out at once from the loudspeakers, four of them, one at every corner of the walls that form a rectangle. In one of the loudspeakers, Heidegger mutters his observations on the essence of poetry, his voice blurry but he recites Hölderin's verses very well and once again I remember, I remember, I remember. Another loudspeaker sends out a mixture of sounds that do not permit me to pin down the words, like a mixture of French and Argentine, something about impossible exchange. The third loudspeaker gives out the news of the day, always the same news, all day long, while the fourth makes sizzling sounds for it is the loudspeaker of the guard who is guarding today and who turns the loudspeakers on. I am locked in and cannot leave. But I escape there

this sea of the same colour as the friendly-blue sea of Tarragona, a bright patch of calm and from afar the longing to get to the beach and swim and swim right out to touch the tip of Miracle Point.

(From Entre dues espases (Between Two Swords) , 2004)

Translated from the Catalan by Julie Wark ©

Amb el suport de:

Institut d'Estudis Baleàrics