Thursday, April 29, 2010

Antes de Amarte (Before I Loved You) - Pablo Neruda

(As this is the third poem by Neruda in this blog, the biographical info is with the first one.)  This translation of mine is a tweak of one by TapscottLike his, it's problematic, but I think less so in places where it matters.  Neruda's metaphors have that "latino" touch of hyperbole, but he gets away with it both in Spanish and in translation.  (I've noticed that tendency in my own writing in Portuguese: it's much freer in the kinds of images that rise up as if from some part that is not accessed when using English.)
Before I Loved You
                                                           transl. from Spanish by Harrison Tao

Before I loved you, Love, nothing was my own:
I stumbled through streets and things:
nothing mattered or had a name:
the world was made of air, which waited.

I knew rooms full of ashes,
tunnels where the moon lived,
cruel shelters that dismissed me,
insistent questions in the sand.

Everything was empty, dead, and mute,
fallen, abandoned, and decayed:
everything was inconceivably alien,
Everything belonged to someone else and to no one,
until your beauty and your poverty
filled Autumn with presents.
                                                                                Pablo Neruda - Chilean

No comments: