For the next few issues, I'd like to feature some of the translation work that Jaime Herrera and I have done. These poems come from the book Nuevos Himnos a la Noche by Benjamín Valdivia.
Benjamin Valdivia has published numerous books of poetry in Spanish along with many works of drama. He has edited many anthologies and won several awards including the Premio de Poesía por la Accademia Internazionale il Convivio, enItalia, in 2003. He also works as a literary translator and is a full-time professor at University of Guanajuato. He expects to visit the Phoenix area this spring to read and share his work in the U.S.
At the Hour of the Sea
Over the sacred sheet
on the set table,
same as sustenance,
you search for a navy blue sea,
a warped conch in which you can
find shelter with me.
We are standing on the mud
in front of the reconstructed
That is where love takes its destiny
of doubling--so back and forth
as the lightning rays of the dark monsoon.
Two days in one instant:
of the night.
Two bodies in the only living entity
over the undulating sheet
at the hour of the sea.
On Such a Day
In the afternoon of a day on such a day as this
I entered the secret stronghold
of your consummation
Broken lamps and frayed walls
were for us paradise and were homeland
for our secret.
Above, spores burned
left there by the rain
in the rotted beams
the bodega was buried
that supplied a city
And in the air
scratched – very scratched – from so many swallows
and scandalous youth and shadows,
resonated a successive destiny:
the drawbridge to enter by the ladder
of a tower where splendor reigns.
***Jaime H. Herrera bio:
Jaime H. Herrera is currently a Professor of English at Mesa Community College. Jaime is a product of the Juárez/El Paso border, a place he holds dear and which embodies who he is, as much Mexican as American, as much Mexicano (and mexinaco) as he is estadounidense (and gringo). He is bicultural and bilingual (and speaks a good Spanglish too). He knows that the border is a space that cannot be fenced. La frontera es un espacio que no se puede cercar. He loves translation, the back and forth between the two languages. Also. he writes his own poetry in both English and Spanish and has written a novel (as of yet unpublished), tentatively titled This is not Juárez. When he dies, he wants his ashes spread right in the middle of the bridge that connects Juárez and El Paso, his ashes blowing in both directions.
Kimberly has been fortunate to travel to half the Spanish-speaking countries in the world by the time she was forty. As a traveler into different cultures, she has learned to listen ask questions, and seek points of connections. This page is meant to offer different points of connections between writers, words, ideas, languages, and imaginations. Thank you for visiting.