It must be poetry week for me. I finally made it to the weekly reading at Nueva Babel last night, and there I found a poster for three consecutive evenings of poetry in the streets, starting tonight.

After last night’s experience, I wasn’t in a hurry to get to the event that was scheduled for outside of Café Brujula at 7, but it started promptly. More importantly, it was an excellent experience: educational, provocative, and inspirtaional. The organizers provided a table full of poetry books for people walking by to select from and to share with the world. As a result, the crowd grew, and people literally waited in line to share a poem that they thought we needed to hear.

Some people read poems in Portuguese and then Spanish or in Italian and then Spanish. Seriously, there were people off the street waiting in line to share a poem. Not people reading from their own books or notebooks.

I am in love with the poem “High Treason” which follows. It is short enough to read in public. With enough time, I may find the gathering tomorrow night (it is supposed to be near Santo Domingo church); I want to be a part of the collective celebration of my art form.

Alta traición

No amo mi Patria. Su fulgor abstracto
Es inasible.
Pero (aunque suene mal) daría la vida
por diez lugares suyos, cierta gente,
puertos, bosques de pinos, fortalesas,
una ciudad deshecha, gris, monstruosa,
varias figuras de su historia,
montañas (y tres o cuatro ríos).

Por Jose Emilio Pacheco

High Treason

I do not love my country. Its abstract splendour
Is beyond my grasp.
But (although it sounds bad) I would give my life
For ten places in it, for certain people,
Seaports, pinewoods, fortresses,
A run-down city, gray, grotesque,
Various figures from its history,
(and three or four rivers).

Traducción por Alastair Reed



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