Autors i Autores

Marià Villangómez

2. Anglès


But the lips of verse have silenced their cry.
They strive – wings burning and pure –
now and again to rise. Oh clarity insecure
trembling in the eyes of absolute birds on high,

where spreading folds of fallen fields lie
and the deepening waves of azure!
The world, in the sonnet, has some measure
and the moments there are blind, false or dry.

Old memory seems not to breathe that air.
My dream’s strength on paper has dwindled away.
Poems are cemetery crosses bare.

Let it seek from so much absence today,
an eternal haven, in verse. Everything I shall not say,
and all I have left unsaid, I wish to take there.

(From Sonets de Balansat (Balansat Sonnets), 1956)

* * *


There is no lack of space for your
twistings, turnings and sprints,
wind that throws summer into disarray.
You have the whole night
– not only this wet street –
my hair,
my thoughts are also soaked.
It rains no more. The storm moves off,
turns back now and then with burning surprise.
I think of waves, cold stretches of sand,
gardens that the rain has trampled,
damp herbs on the night-time ridge;
you swim for no one,
in pines visited by a glowering dream
– wind or only cold distrust –
bound to earth in strange design.
It is as if you remember or love,
as if a dead man listened to a kneading ceiling,
as if promises will never be kept.
Awake, I listen to the wind, to love.

(From La miranda (The Lookout), 1958)

* * *



We say heart. Look at it. Is yours like that?
They are words and strange, perchance,
to your custom. In part they are strange.
Or is the heart the stranger? Do you not know it?
Oh, mind and feelings make us close.
All of us have loved, all felt dread,
suffering gnawing at soul and flesh.
We know what we must – and it is not enough –
to get us through life, here below, beneath
the sky profound … Oh! Do you not hear? Do you flee,
brother world, this canticle, the poem?
The poem, these words that sing to you,
do they say nothing you can understand? Light they were,
burning flame and, on touching you, extinguished they die.
Only the poet will hearken to the poet,
will see the handful of fire held out.
Brightness of poetry, this grace
with which God fatigued, among many, one man.
Not love, not pain or terror
through which the heart links up with all the rest.
Not the common thought. Just poetry.


Poetry is breeze not reducible
to amenable mental limits. The wings
of an improbable bird. Blind people, do you see it?
Only the poet this throbbing hears,
high, unseen and – who would say it? – happy,
ardently happy. It is the amorous
trembling beyond erotic storms,
a kiss at the bottom of the bile of wounds,
through fears, a hope.
Poetry bears a secret
delight among pains, a hidden
beauty among the most palpable monsters.
In the saddest, most desolate lines,
a distant assent there beats. Verses
are this: without joy they would not exist.
Not the common joy; a miracle solitary
and grateful they convey. If all were
pain, only pain, verse would be quiet.

(From La miranda (The Lookout), 1958)

* * *


Here are buried some ancient gods.
Cruel gods as gods are inclined to be.
Nonetheless they accepted prayers.
They were to be kept happy for some possible favour.
To avoid their hatred above all.
For can we ever be grateful for what we have?
The buried flatteries, the pots where gods are smashed.

We plough their earth,
do not know them when they appear on a leprous coin.
What a blast of wind swept over their fragility!
Those divinities in favour of love,
did not wrinkle their noses at obstinate desire.
Look at the goddess repeated a hundred times.
Do you not long to offer her some small sacrifice of old?
The priests of long ago must have had a pompous air,
certain condescendence, more in lips than eyes.
They have lived less than their gods of clay
and these votive offerings and amulets.
Now look at the Cabirs, flames or stars,
sweet little Cabirs like malformed gnomes.
Some time, here, they should be recalled
for they were very important
in places of sailors and long absences at sea.

Now the earth stifles men and dreams,
as well as the shameless loves
that those ignoble gods did not disdain,
kin, as they were, of the earth.

Beneath the crops, like a remote and rotting root,
With everyday things, hook, lamp or toy.

(From El cop a la terra (A Blow to Earth), 1962)

Translated from the Catalan by Julie Wark ©

Amb el suport de:

Institut d'Estudis Baleàrics