Autors i Autores

Àngel Terron

2. Anglès


When a scientist looks at a stone
he sees not only an object for striking a blow
but a whole mesh of molecules therein,
three-dimensional structure of silicates,
smothered accumulation of foraminifers.
When he looks at a tree he knows the why of its colours,
the spatial distribution of chlorophyll atoms,
the asymmetric carbon chains that have given it life.
When he was a child and he asked the why
of rocks being hard
wine's turning to vinegar
or why spicy red sausage turns white,
he did not suspect the beauty of symbols
the lovely exhalation of knowledge
and that the gaze would be an act of creation.
From the nature of things
we must extract the joy of being alive.

(Del llibre Iniciació a la Química [Initiation into Chemistry], 1997)

* * *


The myth of Sisyphus does not represent futility;
no step of the helix is repeated.
The ancients bequeathed us benign and beautiful images,
like the purifying power of fire
– although microbes they did not know –
offering us, too, this polysemic one,
yet we consent to a single meaning alone,
the simplest for the tribe:
seek soon demolition and defeat,
push the stone up just one peak.
Immense was the pain of Pasteur
when at suggestion, pressure and plea
of his mentor Dumas,
he left Paris for the far-off province
to investigate the silkworm disease,
because of the harm to the animal economy:
"But, have pity on me,
you must understand I have never seen
as much as one of these worms", he said.
Without resources, wrapped in cold and expectation,
he caressed the research of asymmetries,
the controversy of spontaneous generation,
the study of microorganisms in wine …
Memory is painful for us as well …
But there, far removed from it all, he went into himself.
The sickness of silkworms was caused
by microorganisms
like the cells he did not want to leave in Paris,
but they weren’t nourished in vegetable juices,
they thrived in living organisms:
infectious diseases were caused by this.
"God is in the cooking pots."
And we decline to let
any warmth press upon our flesh.
"A human being is given just one life
so the stone must kept firmly clasped",
is the general understanding.
Yet, it is never the same thrushes
that come with winter to the Mediterranean.
The fertility of things, the gentleman does not wish to understand.
Confinement annuls the vision.
Erudition saps understanding.

(Del llibre Llibre de Mercuri [Book of Mercury], 1981)

* * *


Like black gathers so well the light
wrapping it in the orbits of its eyes
with great electron leaps and warmth,
like the blue of the metallic complex
drains it of colour it to smiling gain,
nature sings chromophore thus.
Amino acids of our flesh
embraced with metal in concord,
synaptic receptors with joy of calcium,
human factory, beautiful nature,
we have built for you a silent world,
great sculptures in mental bronze,
a new kind of speech that quivering designs
the ternary chromos or our face.

(Del llibre Ternari, [Ternary], 1986)

* * *


The Street of the Masks

In the street of the masks as they call it
the smell of moss rises from underfoot.
From the stones appear faces
in dyads, in triads: cheerful homage to the name,
dark meaning of precision,
the snake is coiled in alabaster
cursed like the eyebrow of Eve
or refreshing as the sight of Hermes Trismegistus
thrice-great master,
and to the stars in the sky is joined the shield
of three half moons.
The lion keeps watch and from his mouth drools light.
Nature knows what stone keeps to itself.

(From Al·lotropies [Allotropes], 1996)

Translated from the Catalan by Julie Wark ©.

Amb el suport de:

Institut d'Estudis Baleàrics