Juan Gelman, translated by Lisa Rose Bradford
Selections from hoy
Who is it that corrects the word piece / its limits / separations / its flight of roots? Where now is the hand that conjoined its looks? The pieces of itself no longer ensemble in song / versions of that unity / the shade of the clouds. Foregone the parties where reason raised a toast to the arithmetic of the lip. In a seat of honor, legitimate beasts wield reality without so much as a warning.
The poem I wish to write for you, amouramour, has not yet a word. It travels in its negations and disasters like the yesterday in today and its plot is a flame. No one can extinguish it, guarding its secret when your face fills with wonder, opening doorways to the subject, sacrifices of the when, two circles with no original scribe.
Juan Gelman's Selections from Hoy can be read in the print edition of The Arkansas International 1.
Argentine poet-in-exile Juan Gelman (Buenos Aires, 1930-Mexico City, 2014) published more than twenty books of poetry in his lifetime, and his numerous awards include the Pablo Neruda Prize (Chile, 2005), the most prestige Spanish-language literary award, Cervantes Prize (2007), and the Premio Leteo in 2012. His last book, Hoy, was published in 2013 and the present selection comes from this volume.
Lisa Rose Bradford teaches Comparative Literature at the Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata, Argentina. She has published poems and translations in numerous magazines and edited various books on translation (Traducción como cultura, La cultura de los géneros) and of translations into Spanish (Usos de la imaginación: poetas latin@s en EE.UU. Los pájaros, por la nieve. Antología de la poesía femenina contemporánea de los Estados Unidos). Also, four of her bilingual volumes of Juan Gelman’s verse have appeared since 2010: Between Words: Juan Gelman's Public Letter (National Translation Award), Commentaries and Citations, Com/positions, and Oxen Rage. She is currently translating Gelman’s last book of poems, Hoy.