poetry quarterly

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LANGSTON HUGHES TRIBUTE ISSUE

Luis Alberto Ambroggio

 

POR EL POETA QUE SOBREVIVA

Edad de Oro.
Dicen que de los miles de poetas
apenas tres sobrevivieron
en la memoria de los siglos;
y acaso sobreviva sólo uno
de los muchos poetas de nuestro calendario.
Irrescatable el silencio de las siembras
los felices versos.
Deshechados los caprichos de belleza.
Ni siquiera el reciclaje salvará alguna rima.
Quizá se conserve en anónimo un epígrafe
y el polvo que cubra los tormentos.
El río, sí, perdurará en su corriente indescifrable
y el cóndor se eternizará en su vuelo.
El amor también repetirá sus aventuras.
La muerte seguirá el curso de los cielos.
De los poetas, sólo uno sabrá decirlo
para las ilusiones de los tiempos que devengan.

¡Cuántas palabras de sobra,
páginas, minutos, árboles cortados al vicio!

Extinción irreversible.
Entre la multitud, tan sólo un grito
(pedestal único, canonizado).
¡Asombrosa siempre la economía del olvido!

Un grano mínimo de arena
en el eterno murmullo del océano.

Un solo grito.

 

TO THE POET WHO SURVIVES

Golden Age.
They say that of the thousands of poets
barely three survived
in memory over the centuries;
and perhaps of the many poets of our time
only one will survive.
The silence of sowing the happy verses—irretrievable.
The whims of beauty—discarded.
Not even recycling will save a certain rhyme.
Perhaps an anonymous epigraph
and the dust that covers the torments
will be saved.
The river, yes, will endure in its indecipherable current
and the condor will be eternal in its flight.
Love, too, will repeat its adventures.
Death will follow the course of the heavens.
Of the poets, only one will know how to spark
the imagination in times to come.

How many extra words,
pages, minutes, trees cut for the hell of it!

Irreversible extinction.
Of the multitude, only one shout
(a singular pedestal, canonized).
The economy of forgetting is always startling!

A tiny grain of sand
in the eternal murmur of the ocean.

A single shout.

 


Luis Alberto Ambroggio was born in Argentina. He is author of eleven books of poems, most recently the bilingual collection Difficult Beauty (Cross-Cultural Communications, 2009). He is a member of the North American Academy of the Spanish Language, and has recorded poems for the Archives of Hispanic Literature at the Library of Congress. His poems have been widely anthologized in the US, Spain, and Latin America.

This poem was translated into English by Yvette Neisser Moreno.

 

Published in Volume 12, Number 1, Winter 2011.

 

To read more by this author:
Luis Alberto Ambroggio
Luis Alberto Ambroggio: Wartime Issue

Luis Alberto Ambroggio: Floricanto Issue