Repetición de mi mismo / Repeating Myself by Ricardo Mazó

This entry is part 23 of 34 in the series Poetry from the Other Americas

Ricardo MazoParaguayan poet Ricardo Mazó (1927-1987) worked as an engineer and geologist. He is regarded as one of the Promoción del 50, a group of 1950’s poets, mainly from the Academia Universitaria and the Faculty of Philosophy in Asunción, who wrote socially engaged poetry during Alfredo Stroessner’s dictatorship (1954–1989). Briznas: suerte de antología (Scraps: A Kind of Anthology), 1982, gathers together 73 poems written between the years 1940 and 1980. Solitude, absence, nostalgia, distance, boredom, as well as a constant search for the self, a recurrent encounter with time, and fixation on an unceasing memory, are the dominant motifs of his poetry. He’s also known for his Spanish translation of Hegel’s Introduction to Aesthetics. (Cribbed from the Wikipedia. Read the rest, or see the Spanish bio at Portal Guarani.)


Repeating Myself

I
Theme

Here it comes again
the disturbing presence of hours
my relentless
awareness of time
and the constant
repetition of a single souvenir.

II
Situation

Now that the moment’s gone
carnation’s sudden blossom,
face no sooner seen, instantly befriended,
premonitory sigh, ingenuous love.

Now that I can’t shake hands
without missing a beat,
now that the moon’s a symbol, and my deserted
heart lowers the sluice and locks the gate
for fear of drowning
in bitter blood, stagnant blood.

…in two words,
barely a fraction of myself,
still I had to see you, so many times
that finally, loving you was my only option.

III
Pendant

I had to love you even though it was no more
than a wasted clarion call, I regret
leaving misleading tracks in the sand.

I’ll tell you my love:
—a rush of blood, a delirium
of contrary and untamed feelings—

arteries open and words spoken
and the expectations such audacity reveals.

IV
Finale

Because of the way things are we will never
be able to share Christmas Eve.

December 1953

Repetición de mi mismo

I
Motivo

Otra vez hoy conmigo la inquietante
presencia de las horas,
la continua
apreciación del tiempo
y la constante
repetición de un único recuerdo.

II
Situación

Ahora que ya ha pasado el tiempo
del clavel florecido en un momento,
del rostro que se mira y se hace amigo,
del suspiro precoz y del amor sencillo.

Ahora que no puedo dar la mano
sin que sienta un latir destituido,
que la luna es el símbolo, y desierto
mi corazón se rige con compuertas
por temor que se me inunde el cuerpo
de sangre amarga -y de sangre muerta-.

y, en dos palabras,
una fracción apenas de mí mismo,
he tenido que verte tantas veces
que al fin no pude menos que quererte.

III
Pendiente

He tenido que amarte aunque no fuera
más que un clarión gastado, arrepentido
de hacer trazos mentidos en el suelo.

Y decirte mi amor:
-un tumulto de sangre, un desvarío
de sentires opuestos e indomables-.

La arteria abierta y la palabra dicha.
y la espera que sigue a tanta audacia descubierta.

IV
Final

Porque así son las cosas se que nunca
podremos compartir la nochebuena.

Series Navigation← oh (ô) by Raôul DuguayPeuple inhabité / Population void by Yves Préfontaine →

2 Comments


  1. I can’t comment on the originals, but an original & arresting voice comes through in these translations. If Ricardo Mazo hasn’t been translated into English before, you might be onto your next project, Natalie!

    Reply

  2. Dick, thanks, but no way! I’m only doing these translations as enjoyable distractions. I don’t know what my next ‘serious’ project will be but I’m sure it won’t involve translation.

    Reply

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