A poem by Lea Díaz

Here follows an untitled poem by Lea Díaz that I liked so much I translated it into English.  The original is followed by the translation.

A mí me educaron:
la televisión, el asfalto,
la escuela y la iglesia,
haciéndome
ignorante y analfabeta.

Soy incapaz de entender
el lenguaje de las flores,
de las nubes o de las olas.

No comprendo palabra alguna
dicha por la lluvia, la tierra,
el fuego o el viento.

Ignoro lo que platican las arañas
por las esquinas, los pájaros
en el alambre o lo que intentan
decirme los mosquitos al oído.

Si los entendiera,
podría concertar con las arañas
lecciones de tejido,
con los pájaros de vuelo y
con los mosquitos de camuflaje
ante las amenazas.

Si los entendiera,
sabría ser fecunda como la tierra,
lloverme como las nubes
o ser elegante y agraciada
como las flores.

Si los entendiera,
le silbaría al mar
canciones de amor al oído
y danzaría con las barcas
y con las velas.

Si los entendiera,
sabría arder en llamas
y convertir en cenizas,
este dolor, este vacío,
esta impotencia
de no entender nada.

(Lea Díaz)

 

 

 

Education
by the television, the asphalt,
the school and the church
left me
ignorant and illiterate.

Unable to understand
the language of the flowers,
the clouds or the waves.

Comprehending not a single word
spoken by the rain, the earth,
the fire or the wind.

Ignorant of what is being said by the spiders
in the corners, the birds
on the wire or what the mosquitos
are whispering in my ear.

If I could understand them
I would have been able to arrange lessons in spinning
by the spiders
in flight by the birds
and in camouflage in the face of danger
by the mosquitos.

If I could understand them,
I would know how to be fertile like the earth
to rain like the clouds
or to be elegant and graceful
like the flowers.

If I could understand them,
I would whistle love songs
to the sea
and dance with the ships
and the sails.

If I could understand them,
I would know how to ignite into flames
and reduce to ashes
this pain, this emptiness,
this impotence
of understanding nothing.

(Lea Díaz)
(translation by Franklin Dmitryev)

 

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