28 May 2013

Thom Gunn

Considering the snail, a poem by Thom Gunn translated into Spanish and shared with us by the Spanish poet Juan Manuel Romero.


CONSIDERING THE SNAIL

The snail pushes through a green
night, for the grass is heavy
with water and meets over
the bright path he makes, where rain
has darkened the earth's dark. He
moves in a wood of desire,

pale antlers barely stirring
as he hunts. I cannot tell
what power is at work, drenched there
with purpose, knowing nothing.
What is a snail's fury? All
I think is that if later

I parted the blades above
the tunnel and saw the thin
trail of broken white across
litter, I would never have
imagined the slow passion
to that deliberate progress.


PENSAR EL CARACOL

El caracol avanza a empujones
por una noche verde, pues la hierba
está cargada de agua y pone trabas
a la brillante senda que da forma,
donde la lluvia ha oscurecido
la tierra oscura.
Se desplaza en un bosque del deseo,

moviendo apenas las antenas ocres
cuando caza. No sé decir
qué fuerza le espolea a su labor,
sin saber nada, ahí empapado a posta.
¿Cómo entender la furia
del caracol? Lo único
que pienso es que si luego

no hubiera separado la hojarasca
sobre el túnel ni hubiera visto
el reguero delgado
de baba blanca y quebradiza,
no habría imaginado nunca
una pasión tan lenta
para este lánguido progreso.

(Translated by Juan Manuel Romero)


Thom Gunn (1929 –2004) fue un poeta británico nacionalizado estadounidense. Incluido en el grupo “The Movement” junto a Larkin, Davie, Jennings, Enright y Amis, su estética se alejó pronto de la reacción antivanguardista que protagonizaron estos poetas. Gunn romperá con el neoclasicismo de la poesía inglesa del momento evolucionando hacia una cierta heterodoxia underground, que lo llevaría a ser finalmente reconocido como una de las voces maestras de la literatura gay y la contracultura americana. Su extensa obra, en la que destacan títulos como Fighting Terms (1954), The Sense of Movement (1959) o The Man with Night Sweats (1992) ha recibido múltiples premios y está recogida ampliamente en las antologías inglesas y norteamericanas.


Thom Gunn (29 August 1929 – 25 April 2004), born Thomson William Gunn, was an Anglo-American poet who was praised both for his early verses in England, where he was associated with The Movement and his later poetry in America, even after moving toward a looser, free-verse style. After relocating from England to San Francisco, Gunn, who became openly gay, wrote about gay-related topics—particularly in his most famous work, The Man With Night Sweats in 1992—as well as drug use, sex, and topics related to his bohemian lifestyle. He won numerous major literary awards.

From Wikipedia.

20 May 2013

Marjorie Evasco


Marjorie Evasco reads her poem Origami in Cebuano:





ORIGAMI

Esta palabra se despliega, busca viento
Para acelerar el vuelo de la grulla
Al norte de mi sol, hacia ti.

Le doy forma a este poema
De papel, plegando
Las distancias entre nuestras estaciones.

Este poema es una grulla.
Cuando despliegue sus alas,
El papel quedará puro y vacío.

(Traducido por Alice M. Sun-Cua y Jose Ma. Fons Guardiola).


ORIGAMI

This word unfolds, gathers up wind
To speed the crane’s flight
North of my sun to you.

I am shaping this poem
Out of paper, folding
Distances between our seasons.

This poem is a crane.
When its wings unfold,
The paper will be pure and empty.


Marjorie Evasco (Filipinas, 1953) Nació en la ciudad de Tagbilaran en la isla de Bohol en Visayas, parte central de Filipinas, en 1953. Escribe poesía en inglés y cebuano- visayés. Sus dos libros de poemas Dreamweavers (Tejedores de sueños): poemas seleccionados de 1976 a 1986 (1986) y Ochre Tones (Tonos ocre) poemas en inglés y en cebuano (1999) ambos ganaron el Premio Nacional del Libro de poesía otorgado por el Manila Critic’s Circle (Círculo de críticos de Manila). Otros dos de sus libros, el primero escrito con Edna Manlapaz, llamado Six Women Poets: Inter./Views (Seis mujeres poetas: Entre/ Vistas) (1996), y el segundo A Life Shaped by Music: Andrea Veneracion and the Pilippine Madrigal Singers (Una vida moldeada por la música: Andrea Veneracion y los cantantes filipinos de Madrigal) ganaron también el Premio Nacional del libro por Narración oral y Biografía, respectivamente. En el 2006 su libro Ani: The Life and Art of Hermogena Borja Lungay (Ani: La vida y arte de Hermogena Borja Lungay) fue publicado y ganó el A. Ongpin, Premio Nacional del Libro en arte del Círculo de Críticos de Manila. Terminó su doctorado en Literatura en la Universidad De La Salle de Manila, Filipinas, donde es profesora de la Facultad del Departamento de Literatura.


Tanto los poemas como la biografía fueron extraídos de Revista Prometeo, donde pueden encontrar otros poemas y más información de la autora.

Marjorie Evasco (Philippines) more info at her website.


16 May 2013

Suheir Hammad



Suheir Hammad reads her poem Breaks clustered:






RUPTURA EN RACIMO

Toda la Historia Sagrada, prohibida.
Libros no escritos predijeron el futuro, proyectaron el pasado
pero mi cabeza desenvuelve lo que parece no tener límite,
la violencia creativa del hombre.

¿Qué hijo, el de quién, será?
¿Qué hijo varón perecerá un nuevo día?
La muerte de nuestros niños nos impulsa.
Acariciamos cadáveres.
Lloramos mujeres, es complicado.
A las putas les pegan a diario.
Se obtienen beneficios, se ignora a los profetas.
Guerra y diente esmaltaron, echaron sal, a infancias de limón.
Todos los colores corren, nadie es firme.

No busques sombra detrás de mí. La llevo dentro.
Vivo ciclos de luz y oscuridad.
El ritmo es mitad silencio.
Lo veo ahora, nunca fui una y no la otra.
Enfermedad, salud, violencia tierna: pienso ahora que nunca fui pura.
Antes que forma fui tormenta, ciega, tonta – aún lo soy.
La Humanidad se contrae ciega, maligna.
Nunca fui pura.

Niña consentida antes de madurar.
El lenguaje no puede reducirme.
Experimento de manera exponencial.
Todo es todo.
Una mujer pierde 15, puede que 20, miembros de su familia.
Una mujer pierde seis.
Una mujer pierde su cabeza.
Una mujer busca en los escombros.
Una mujer se alimenta de basura.
Una mujer se pega un tiro en la cara.
Una mujer le pega un tiro a su marido.
Una mujer se amarra.
Una mujer da a luz a un bebé.
Una mujer da a luz a las fronteras.
Una mujer ya no cree que el amor la encontrará algún día.
Una mujer no lo creyó nunca.
¿Adónde van los corazones de los refugiados?
Rotos, insultados, colocados en un lugar de donde no son,
no quieren que no se les vea.
Enfrentados a la ausencia.
Lloramos al otro o no significamos nada de nada.

Mi espina se curva en espiral.
El precipicio corre hacia y desde los seres humanos.
Dejamos atrás bombas de racimo.
Minas de facto.
Dolor en llamas.
Cosecha tabaco contaminado.
Cosecha bombas.
Cosecha dientes de leche.
Cosecha palmas, humo.
Cosecha testigos, humo.
Resoluciones, humo.
Salvación, humo.
Redención, humo.

Respira.

No temas
a lo que ha estallado.

Si has de hacerlo,
teme a lo que no ha explotado aún.


Traducción del inglés: Laura Casielles


Extraído de AISH, donde se puede encontrar más información sobre la autora y su trabajo.



BREAKS CLUSTERED
All holy history banned.
Unwritten books predicted future, projected past,
but my head unwraps around what appears limitless,
man’s creative violence.
Whose son shall it be?
Which male child will perish a new day?
Our boys’ death galvanize.
We cherish corpses.
We mourn women, complicated.
Bitches get beat daily.
Profits made, prophets ignored.
War and tooth enameled salted lemon childhoods.
All colors run, none of us solid.
Don’t look for shadow behind me. I carry it within.
I live cycles of light and darkness.
Rhythm is half silence.
I see now, I never was one and not the other.
Sickness, health, tender violence, I think now I never was pure.
Before form I was storm, blind, ign’ant - still am.
Humanity contracted itself blind, malignant.
I never was pure.
Girl spoiled before ripened.
Language cannot math me.
I experience exponentially.
Everything is everything.
One woman loses 15, maybe 20, members of her family.
One woman loses six.
One woman loses her head.
One woman searches rubble.
One woman feeds on trash.
One woman shoots her face.
One woman shoots her husband.
One woman straps herself.
One woman gives birth to a baby.
One woman gives birth to borders.
One woman no longer believes love will ever find her.
One woman never did.
Where do refugee hearts go?
Broken, dissed, placed where they are not from, don’t want to be missed.
Faced with absence.
We mourn each one or we mean nothing at all.
My spine curves spiral.
Precipice running to and running from human beings.
Cluster bombs left behind.
De facto land mines.
Smoldering grief.
Harvest contaminated tobacco.
Harvest bombs.
Harvest baby teeths.
Harvest palms, smoke.
Harvest witness, smoke.
Resolutions, smoke.
Salvation, smoke.
Redemption, smoke.
Breathe.
Do not fear
what has blown up.
If you must,
fear the unexploded.


Suheir Hammad (1973) is a Palestinian-American poet, author and political activist. She was born in Amman, Jordan. Her parents were Palestinian refugees who immigrated along with their daughter to Brooklyn, New York City when she was five years old. Her parents later moved to Staten Island.
As an adolescent growing up in Brooklyn, Hammad was heavily influenced by Brooklyn's vibrant Hip-Hop scene. She had also absorbed the stories her parents and grandparents had told her of life in their hometown of Lydda, before the 1948 Palestinian exodus, and of the suffering they endured afterward, first in the Gaza Strip and then in Jordan. From these disparate influences Hammad was able to weave into her work a common narrative of dispossession, not only in her capacity as an immigrant, a Palestinian and a Muslim, but as a woman struggling against society's inherent sexism and as a poet in her own right. 

From Wikipedia

10 May 2013

Papa Susso

Performance by Papa Susso:





CÓMO NACIÓ LA KORA
- tal como la cantara Papa Susso a Bob Holman

Esta historia comienza hace mucho mucho mucho mucho tiempo
Hace tanto que no era un tiempo sino un lugar
Había un hombre
Estaba tan solo
Que la única persona con la que podía hablar era África
Por suerte había un árbol cerca
Por más suerte aún tras ese árbol
Era donde se escondía su compañera
Todo el sol y toda el agua estaban condensadas
En un único bloque diminuto
Que el hombre plantó en la tierra arenosa
Sopló y sopló en aquel lugar
Cada vez que soplaba le parecía escuchar algo
Lo que escuchaba era desde luego su compañera cantando
El hombre ni siquiera sabía lo que era cantar
Porque podía sólo hablar
Aún no podía cantar
Así que soplaba y escuchaba, soplaba escuchaba soplaba escuchaba
Y la planta germinó color verde oscuro
Y empezó a retorcerse y a crecer
Una enredadera buscando aliento
Y estirándose hacia la canción
(Porque estaba hecha de sol y lluvia, ¿recuerdas?)
Así que al final de la enredadera estaba la calabaza
Y el árbol ya no era árbol
Era el clavijero y las manijas
Ahí fue cuando la compañera del hombre Saba Kidane
Hizo su aparición (pero esa es otra historia)
¿Y el aliento y el canto y la enredadera?
Bueno, hay 21 cuerdas, ¿qué te parece?
Y ahora tú dices y qué pasa con el puente y el cuero
Y los anillos que atan las cuerdas al clavijero
Para que puedas afinar la kora
Hey, qué hay de las tachuelas que mantienen
Al cuero tenso sobre la calabaza
Y el agujero resonador
Bueno tienes razón en mencionar todo eso
Ahora estoy tocando kora
La próxima vez te cuento acerca de la vaca

Extraído de aquí, donde se pueden encontrar además otros poemas del mismo autor.


HOW KORA WAS BORN
- as sung by Papa Susso to Bob Holman

This story begins long long long long ago
So long ago that it was a place not a time
There was a man
He was so alone
The only person he could talk to was Africa
Luckily there was a tree nearby
Even more luckily behind that tree
That’s where his partner was hiding
All the sun and all the water were condensed
Into a single tiny block
Which the man planted in the sandy soil
He blew and he blew on that spot
Each time he blew he thought he heard something
What he was hearing was of course his partner singing
The man didn’t even know what singing was
Because he could only talk
He couldn’t sing yet
So he blew and he listened, blew listened blew listened
And the plant pushed out dark green
And began to twist and grow
A vine reaching for the breath
And stretching towards the song
(Because it was made from sun and rain, remember?)
So at the end of the vine that was the calabash
And the tree it was not a tree anymore
It was the neck and handles
That was when the man’s partner Saba Kidane
Came out into the open (but that’s another story)
And the breath and the singing and the vine?
Well, there are 21 strings, what do you think?
And now you say what about the bridge and the cowhide
And the rings that tie the strings to the neck
So you can tune the kora
Hey, what about the thumbtacks that hold
The cowhide taut over the calabash
And the resonator hole
Well you go right on talking about all that
I’m playing kora now
Next time I’ll tell you about the cow

From here.




Alhaji Papa Susso (Sotuma Sere, Gambia, 1947). Es maestro del kora, -arpa-laúd africano de 21 cuerdas-, que le enseñó a tocar su padre, y el cual ejecuta desde los cinco años. Director del Koriya Musa Center para la investigación de la tradición oral. Historiador oral de Gambia, su país natal, desciende de una larga línea de Griots (Poetas historiadores en la tradición oral), del pueblo Mandinka, África Occidental. En ejercicio de su profesión ha sido invitado a diversos campos universitarios de Europa, Asia, Estados Unidos y Canadá, tanto a salones de clase como a importantes salas de concierto, donde ha comunicado la historia de su país y de su pueblo, discutiendo acerca del papel del griot en la cultura del África Occidental y ejecutando las canciones clásicas del repertorio de su estirpe. Músicos itinerantes, los griots transmiten la historia tribal y las genealogías, componiendo canciones conmemorativas y participando en importantes eventos de la tribu. Suele presentarse solo o en compañía de su grupo que incluye canto, danza, balafong, y un segundo kora, ejecutado por su hijo.

Extraído de aquí.


Alhaji Papa Susso (Suntu), master kora player, traditional musician, oral historian, virtuoso and director of the Koriya Musa Center for Research in Oral Tradition, was born on the 29th of September, 1947, in the village of Sotuma Sere in the Upper River Division of The Republic of Gambia, West Africa.
Papa Susso hails from a long line of Griots (traditional oral historians). His father taught him to play the kora when he was five years old.
The kora was invented by the "Susso" family of the Mandinka tribe of the great Manding Empire. It is a 21-stringed harp-lute unique to the western- most part of Africa and is meant to be played only by the Jali (professional musicians, praise singers and oral historians), who were traditionally attached to the royal courts. Their duties included recounting tribal history and genealogy, composing commemorative songs and performing at important tribal events.
Papa, as he is commonly known, attended Bakadaji Primary School from 1963-1960. He passed the common entrance high school examination, which allowed him to enroll as a student at the Armitage High School, Georgetown, The Gambia, from 1960-1965, where he graduated with honours.
Upon finishing high school, Papa Susso was appointed Agricultural Assistant in the Ministry of Agricultural and Natural Resources. He held that position until he received a scholarship to attend Outington University in Suakoko, Liberia, where he received his bachelor of arts degree in business administration in 1969.
On his return to The Gambia, Papa Susso joined the civil service of The Gambia government as a Senior Accountant in the Ministry of Work and Communications. Papa has also served as Financial Attaché and Liaison Officer for The Gambia Embassy in Freetown, Sierra Leone, with concurrent accreditation to the Republic of Liberia, Guinea and The Ivory Coast. Papa Susso later resigned to go back to his traditional role as a kora player so that he could keep his African culture alive. He became the chief kora player of The Gambia National Cultural Troupe under the Ministry of Education and Culture.
In 1974, he resigned and formed his own cultural organization: The Manding Music and Dance Limited. The objectives of this organization include: a) conducting research and carrying out studies into the history, traditions and ethnomusicology of Manding; b) carrying on the business and assisting the performing artists in the presentation of music and folklore of Manding; and, c) reviving, exposing and promoting a better understanding and appreciation of the music culture of the Manding.
Papa Susso is a Muslim by religion. He has traveled quite extensively to East, West and Central Africa, the Middle East, Europe, Asia, Canada and the United States of America, spreading his special message of peace and love.
He has performed for several heads of state and government and the United Nations Organization. Papa Susso has also performed with several symphony orchestras. He is a premier performer in the "American Classic African Portraits" by Hannibal Peterson. He performed at New York City's Carnegie Hall twice, for the Baltimore, Detroit, Kalamazoo, San Antonio, St. Louis and Chicago Symphonies, the Louisiana Philharmonic of New Orleans, and Kazumi Watanabe Opera, Tokyo, Japan.
Papa Susso has also been appointed as Regents' Lecturer in ethnomusicology in 1991 at the University of California, Santa Barbara. The Regents' Lecture and Professorship Program is designed to bring to campus distinguished leaders in the arts, sciences,, business and politics, whose careers have been largely outside the academic area. As Regents' Lecturer in ethnomusicology, Papa Bunka Susso has been participating in discussions with students and faculty and joining in informal talks with interested parties.

From here.

3 May 2013

Kajal Ahmad

Mimi Khalvati and Mina Swara read the poem Birds by Kajal Ahmad:








AVES

Según la clasificación más reciente, los kurdos
son ahora una especie de aves
y por eso, en las páginas rasgadas y amarillentas
de la historia, son nómadas moteados de caravanas.
¡Sí, los kurdos son aves! E incluso cuando
no queda ningún lugar, ni refugio para su dolor
se vuelven a la ilusión del viaje
entre los climas cálidos y fríos
de su tierra natal. Por eso, naturalmente,
no me parece raro que los kurdos vuelen.
Van de país en país
aunque nunca cumplan sus sueños de asentarse,
o formar una colonia. No construyen nidos
y ni en su aterrizaje final
visitan a Mevlana para preguntar por su salud,
ni se doblegan ante el polvo del suave viento, como Nali.

Traducido del inglés por Jesús Moreno.


BIRDS

According to the latest classification, Kurds
now belong to a species of bird
which is why, across the torn, yellowing pages
of history, they are nomads spotted by their caravans.
Yes, Kurds are birds! And even when
there's nowhere left, no refuge for their pain,
they turn to the illusion of travelling
between the warm and the cold climes
of their homeland. So naturally,
I don't think it strange that Kurds can fly.
They go from country to country
and still never realise their dreams of settling,
of forming a colony. They build no nests
and not even on their final landing
do they visit Mewlana to enquire of his health,
or bow down to the dust in the gentle wind, like Nali.*

* Refers to a famous line from Nali, 17th century poet:
I sacrifice myself to your dust - you gentle wind!
Messenger familiar with all of Sharazoor!

The literal translation of this poem was made by Choman Hardi
The final translated version of the poem is by Mimi Khalvati



Kajal Ahmad (1967, Kurdistan). She is a contemporary poet, writer and journalist who was born in Kirkuk. She started poetry in 1986 and journalism in 1992. In addition to poetry, she also writes commentary and analysis on social issues, women issues and politics. Her poems have been translated into Arabic, Persian, Turkish and Norwegian.
Works: 1. Benderî Bermoda, 1999; 2. Wutekanî Wutin ,1999; 3. Qaweyek le gel ev da; 2001; 4. Awênem şikand , 2004.

From here.