“Sleep Peacefully” by ALFONSIA STORNI (1892 – 1938)


Sleep Peacefully

BY ALFONSIA STORNI

You said the word that enamors
My hearing. You already forgot. Good.
Sleep peacefully. Your face should
Be serene and beautiful at all hours.

When the seductive mouth enchants
It should be fresh, your speech pleasant;
For your office as lover it’s not good
That many tears come from your face.

More glorious destinies reclaim you
That were brought, between the black wells
Of the dark circles beneath your eyes,
the seer in pain.

The bottom, summit of the beautiful victims!
The foolish spade of some barbarous king
Did more harm to the world and your statue.

 

“I Am Going To Sleep” by ALFONSIA STORNI (1892 – 1938)


I Am Going To Sleep

BY ALFONSIA STORNI

Teeth of flowers, hairnet of dew,
hands of herbs, you, perfect wet nurse,
prepare the earthly sheets for me
and the down quilt of weeded moss.

I am going to sleep, my nurse, put me to bed.
Set a lamp at my headboard;
a constellation; whatever you like;
all are good: lower it a bit.

Leave me alone: you hear the buds breaking through . . .
a celestial foot rocks you from above
and a bird traces a pattern for you

so you’ll forget . . . Thank you. Oh, one request:
if he telephones again
tell him not to keep trying for I have left . . .

A Eros (To Eros) by ALFONSIA STORNI (1892 – 1938)


A Eros (To Eros)

BY ALFONSIA STORNI

HE AQUI que te cacé por el pescuezo
a la orilla del mar, mientras movías
las flechas de tu aljaba para herirme
y vi en el suelo tu floreal corona.

Como a un muñeco destripé tu vientre
y examiné sus ruedas engañosas
y muy envuelta en sus poleas de oro
hallé una trampa que decía: sexo.

Sobre la playa, ya un guiñapo triste,
te mostré al sol, buscón de tus hazañas,
ante un corro asustado de sirenas.

Iba subiendo por la cuesta albina
tu madrina de engaños, Doña Luna,
y te arrojé a la boca de las olas.


Translation

I caught you by the neck
on the shore of the sea, while you shot
arrows from your quiver to wound me
and on the ground I saw your flowered crown.

I disemboweled your stomach like a doll’s
and examined your deceitful wheels,
and deeply hidden in your golden pulleys
I found a trapdoor that said: sex.

On the beach I held you, now a sad heap,
up to the sun, accomplice of your deeds,
before a chorus of frightened sirens.
Your deceitful godmother, the moon
was climbing through the crest of the dawn,
and I threw you into the mouth of the waves.

“Sweet Torture” by ALFONSIA STORNI (1892 – 1938)


Sweet Torture

BY ALFONSIA STORNI

My melancholy was gold dust in your hands;
On your long hands I scattered my life;
My sweetnesses remained clutched in your hands;
Now I am a vial of perfume, emptied

How much sweet torture quietly suffered,
When, my soul wrested with shadowy sadness,
She who knows the tricks, I passed the days
kissing the two hands that stifled my life

“They’ve Come” by ALFONSIA STORNI (1892 – 1938)


They’ve Come

BY ALFONSIA STORNI

Today my mother and sisters
came to see me.

I had been alone a long time
with my poems, my pride . . . almost nothing.

My sister—the oldest—is grown up,
is blondish. An elemental dream
goes through her eyes: I told the youngest
“Life is sweet. Everything bad comes to an end.”

My mother smiled as those who understand souls
tend to do;
She placed two hands on my shoulders.
She’s staring at me . . .
and tears spring from my eyes.

We ate together in the warmest room
of the house.
Spring sky . . . to see it
all the windows were opened.

And while we talked together quietly
of so much that is old and forgotten,
My sister—the youngest—interrupts:
“The swallows are flying by us.”

“Lighthouse in the Night” by ALFONSIA STORNI (1892 – 1938)


Lighthouse in the Night

BY ALFONSIA STORNI

The sky a black sphere,
the sea a black disk.

The lighthouse opens
its solar fan on the coast.

Spinning endlessly at night,
whom is it searching for

when the mortal heart
looks for me in the chest?

Look at the black rock
where it is nailed down.

A crow digs endlessly
but no longer bleeds.

“Puente” by Nicolás Guillén (1920 – 1989)


PUENTE

¿Lejos?

Hay un arco tendido
que hace viajar la flecha
de tu voz.

Continue reading “Puente” by Nicolás Guillén (1920 – 1989)