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.
Info on BV:
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.
We are surrounded there by representations:
symbols of the tired times,
nebulous stelae of the historic.
The sun stone with secret etchings,
grinding mortars which are too ancestral,
man made islands of unusual cultivation.
That Atlantic figure
joined to its past.
But we are there when that huéhuetl
forges in its thunder the turn
of the stellar feathers.
Music and movement:
flower in the singing.
And in the middle of the furious precision
the black cloud sketches your quiet labor
and instructs me in the offering of yourself
at the central point of mid-day.
In the sunset a web of extraordinary purple:
strings of night and end of day armored in the warp
of the sun or the sound:
Crackle of the spectacle, scream of dying star
or kiss since today. It is the radiant weave of violets
in their rough grays and their definitive reds and amethysts.
From there you take the voice by which you weave a happy moment:
a blossoming space of afternoon as when in the strings
of the night burn the weave of a tapestry.
***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 he writes his own poetry in both English and Spanish and has written a novel (as of yet unpublished), tentatively titled This is not Juárez.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.