Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Poetry by León Felipe: Biography, Poetry and Destiny (Biografía, Poesía y Destino)


BIOGRAPHY, POETRY AND DESTINY (My own translation of BIOGRAFÍA, POESÍA Y DESTINO)


The poet first tells of his life to men;
Then, when men are sleeping, to the birds
And when the birds have flown,
He tells it to the trees...
Later the Wind passes and there’s a murmur of leaves.
And this is what the Wind tells me:
The peacock lifts his tail
And extends his fan,
The poet
Should move only the feathers on his wings.
All of which translates as follows:
What I tell men is full of pride;
What I tell the birds, music;
What I tell the trees, tears.
And everything is a song composed for the Wind,
Which then, after,
This forgetful and lone spectator
Can remember but a few words.
But these words remembered are never
Forgotten
By stones. What the poet tells to
The stones is full of
Eternity. And this is the song of Destiny,
Which the stars will neither
Forget.


The original poem can be found in Felipe's Ganarás la luz collection.

Note: I am now posting my translations here: http://leonfelipeinenglish.blogspot.co.uk/

2 comments:

Jenny Lomax said...

Thankyou for the beautiful translation! I found Leon Felipe in one of Robert Bolano's books but couldn't find any translations, was about to give up until I found your blog. Thanks again,
Jenny.

tolstoytherapy said...

Thank you, Jenny! I'm glad that you liked the translation and found my blog.


Felipe is such a great poet, and it's a shame that there are so few translations of his work. I'd like to do a lot more this summer :)

Best wishes,

Lucy