Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Montevido


About a century ago, today - well, yesterday - a young Uruguayan poet was shot dead by her divorced husband who then turned the gun on himself. She was 28.


This is one of her poems:

Intima

Yo te diré los sueños de mi vida
en lo más hondo de la noche azul...
Mi alma desnuda temblará en tus manos,
sobre tus hombros pesará mi cruz.

Las cumbres de la vida son tan solas,
¡tan solas y tan frías! Yo encerré
mis ansias en mi misma, y toda entera
como una torre de marfil me alcé.

Hoy abriré a tu alma el gran misterio;
ella es capaz de penetrar en mí.
En el silencio hay vértigos de abismos:
yo vacilaba, me sostengo en ti.

Muero de ensueños; beberé en tus fuentes
puras y frescas la verdad; yo sé
que está en el fondo magno de tu pecho
el manantial que vencerá mi sed.

Y sé que en nuestras vidas se produjo
el milagro inefable del reflejo...
En el silencio de la noche mi alma
llega a la tuya como un gran espejo.

¡Imagina el amor que habré soñado
en la tumba glacial de mi silencio!
Más grande que la vida, más que el sueño,
bajo el azur sin fin se sintió preso.

Imagina mi amor, mi amor que quiere
vida imposible, vida sobrehumana,
tú sabes que si pesan, si consumen
alma y sueños de olimpo en carne humana.

Y cuando frente al alma que sentía
poco el azur para bañar sus alas
como un gran horizonte aurisolado
o una playa de luz, se abrió tu alma:

¡Imagina! ¡Estrechar, vivo, radiante
el imposible! ¡La ilusión vivida!
Bendije a dios, al sol, la flor, el aire
¡la vida toda porque tu eras vida!

Si con angustia yo compre esta dicha,
¡bendito el llanto que manchó mis ojos!

¡Todas las llagas del pasado ríen
al sol naciente por sus labios rojos!

¡Ah! tú sabrás mi amor; mas vamos lejos,
a través de la noche florecida;
acá lo humano asusta, acá se oye,
se ve, se siente sin cesar la vida.

Vamos más lejos en la noche, vamos
donde ni un eco repercuta en mí,
como una flor nocturna allá en la sombra
me abriré dulcemente para ti.

(c.1923, From patriagrande[dot]net)


Intimate

I will tell you the dreams of my life
On this deepest of blue nights.
In your hands my soul will tremble,
On your shoulders my cross will rest.

The summits of life are lonely,
So lonely and so cold! I locked
My yearnings inside, and all reside
In the ivory tower I raised.

Today I will reveal a great mystery;
Your soul has the power to penetrate me.
In silence are vertigos of the abyss:
I hesitate, I am sustained in you.

I die of dreams; I will drink truth,
Pure and cool, from your springs.
I know in the well of your breast
Is a fountain that vanquishes my thirst.

And I know that in our lives, this
Is the inexpressible miracle of reflection…
In the silence, my soul arrives at yours
As to a magnificent mirror.

Imagine the love I dreamed
In the glacial tomb of silence!
Larger than life, larger than dream,
A love imprisoned beneath an azure without end.

Imagine my love, love which desires
Impossible life, superhuman life,
You who know how it burdens and consumes,
Dreams of Olympus bound by human flesh.

And when met with a soul which found
A bit of azure to bathe its wings,
Like a great, golden sun, or a shore
Made of light, your soul opened:

Imagine! To embrace the Impossible!
Radiant! The lived illusion!
Blessed be God, the sun, the flower, the air,
And all of life, because you are life!

If I bought this happiness with my anguish,
Bless the weeping that stains my eyes!
All the ulcers of the past laugh
At the sun rising from red lips!

Ah you will know, My Love,
We will travel far across the flowery night;
There what is human frightens, there you can hear it,
See it, feel it, life without end.

We go further into night, we go
Where in me not an echo reverberates,
Like a nocturnal flower in the shade,
I will open sweetly for you.

(Translated from the Spanish by Valerie Martinez at www.thedrunkenboat[dot]com)

Delmira Agustini (1886-1914) in her brief turgid life mirrored the tempestuous Latin American sensibility espoused in Mexican painter Frida Kahlo (1907-54) and contemporary Argentine pianist Martha Argerich.

With Uruguay crashing out of the 2010 football World Cup last night, the hopes of a continent lie unrequited. Uruguay put in a stellar performance against the Dutch squad, scoring a second goal in the 92nd minute.

Though the score line read 3:2 at end of play, the Spanish-speaking side will be remembered for their fierce fight-back , so unlike the paltry dismissal of Argentina by the Germans – even with Borges on their side!
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'Montevido, The Capital of Uruguay, South America.' Image courtesy http://www.sonofthesouth(dot)net/ from Harper's Weekly, 8 April 1865.

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