Facebook Twitter pinterest.png  Google Plus

Omphaloskepsis Blog


Apr 20, 2011


This is the poem from which the title comes. Below the original is my english translation. I'm a little embarrassed. Huidobro is so rhythmic on the ear. Gorgeous. And he uses a repeat, which in my translation, I chose to change each time. I took liberties based on what I thought it meant rather than what the translation literally was, which is what I thought I was supposed to do when translating a poem. And, I don't speak Spanish. I studied so I could translate and for some other reasons. So, this is my best and awkward shot. I would love to read Merwin's translation if he ever decides to translate Huidobro. 

If you would like to see the painting progression follow this link


Nací a los treinta y tres años, el día de la muerte de Cristo; nací en el ?Equinoccio, bajo las hortensias y los aeroplanos del calor.
Tenía yo un profundo mirar de pichón, de túnel y de automóvil sentimental.
Lanzaba suspiros de acróbata.
Mi padre era ciego y sus manos eran más admirables que la noche.
Amo la noche, sombrero de todos los días.
La noche, la noche del día, del día al día siguiente.
Mi madre hablaba como la aurora y como los dirigibles que van a caer. ?Tenía cabellos color de bandera y ojos llenos de navíos lejanos.
Una tarde, cogí mi paracaídas y dije: «Entre una estrella y dos golondrinas.» ?He aquí la muerte que se acerca como la tierra al globo que cae.
Mi madre bordaba lágrimas desiertas en los primeros arcoiris.
Y ahora mi paracaídas cae de sueño en sueño por los espacios de la muerte.
El primer día encontré un pájaro desconocido que me dijo: «Si yo fuese ?dromedario no tendría sed. ¿Qué hora es?» Bebió las gotas de rocío de mis ?cabellos, me lanzó tres miradas y media y se alejó diciendo: «Adiós» con su ?pañuelo soberbio.

Vicente Huidobro

I was born at thirty-three years old, on the day of the death of Christ, born in the ?Equinox, below the hydrangeas and the hot air currents.
I was having a profound vision of a pigeon, a tunnel and an old car ?Heaving acrobatic sighs.
My father was blind and his hands were more impressive than night.
I love night, sombrero of all days.
Night, night of day, day the next day.
My mother used to speak like dawn and like hot air balloons about to fall.
She had hair the color of a flag and eyes full of distant ships.
One day, I grabbed my parachute and said, “between a star and two swallows.”
Here I have death, approaching like land to a balloon that drops.
My mother embroiders deserted tears into early rainbows.
And now my parachute descends like a dream in a dream through the spaces of death.
On the first day I met an unfamiliar bird who said to me, “If I was ?a camel I would not be thirsty. When will this be?” He drank the dew from my hair,
he shot me three glances–and a half–and then he left, vainly waving goodbye with his handkerchief.

Vicente Huidobro

Mi madre bordaba lágrimas desiertas en los primeros arcoiris

Category: Poetry

Please add a comment

Posted by Kethan on
I'm not quite sure how to say this; you made it exrtemley easy for me!
Leave a Reply

(Your email will not be publicly displayed.)

Captcha Code

Click the image to see another captcha.

blog comments powered by Disqus