Adonis Diaries

Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

What of those Lebanese children that their parents prefer them to immigrate?

My parents sent 3 of their children to Lebanon boarding schools in order to save them from the multitude of incurable diseases in Africa (or lack of medicines), in the mid 1950’s

With a few editing

Mon fils, ne t’en va pas. Pas maintenant. Pas quand nous sommes fâchés.
Fais comme si rien ne s’était passé.
Attends que la poussière retombe.

La veille, quand tu es rentré après cette longue absence,

Dans ma poitrine, j’avais le cœur qui dansait. Au fond de moi, c’était, comme qui dirait, une explosion.

Quand tu n’es pas là, je perds mes mots, je me fourvoie et,

Pour que j’avance, il me faut désormais marcher dans tes pas.

Certaines nuits, quand le vent siffle trop fort, j’oubliais jusqu’à ton prénom.
Et puis ce souffle qui s’est levé, venant du port. (Reminiscing of the conflagration of the Port of Beirut?)

Ce souffle de verre, cette hécatombe de vies brisées en étoile.

Le sang coulait à flots et on ne savait où donner du regard.

Dans les rues, jusqu’à l’aube, tu as erré haggard.
Oublie ce que tu as vu.
Notre ville, souvent assassinée, demolie, devastee’.

Notre ville comme un millefeuille où passe en accéléré le temps qui, ailleurs, met des plombes.

C’est de mourir cent fois que nous sommes si vivants et chaque instant volé a le goût de l’éternité.

Mon fils, pourquoi t’es-tu figé ?
D’où vient cette pesanteur ?
Cette mort avant l’heure, est-elle la fois de trop ?

Qu’il est dur ce moment où, suspendu dans le vide, l’homme s’arrête de marcher.
Cette ville dévastée en un battement de cil, c’est le mauvais œil, les dieux qui sont jaloux.

Il est des fêlures qu’on ne peut ressouder, des plaies qui suintent comme des stigmates.
Avec le temps, nous avons appris à sceller un pacte.

La destinée n’a pas prise sur notre survie
Hier, en fermant les volets, le souffle de la montagne est monté jusqu’à moi.

Egrenés en lacets, les villages alentour palpitent comme des flammes.

Dans le ciel, l’étoile du berger s’est levée comme avant.
Ce soir, la lune est pleine et fait du bruit en marchant.

Chaque vie est une victoire, chaque jour une bénédiction et la mort d’Adonis, une affaire de saison.

Au jardin de ton père, les amandes sont ouvertes et la figue que tu cueilles est perlée de lait.
Qu’importe que l’on rase l’herbe que tu as foulée, que l’on fauche ta ville et déterre tes morts.

Nous sommes la chandelle qu’on ne peut pas moucher, la moule accrochée à son rocher.

Nous sommes le peuple qui danse sur la bouche du volcan. (Si on avait un volcan au Liban, ce serait chouette)
Même si, depuis toujours, tu es tourné vers la mer…

Condamné à porter le Liban en bandoulière, en escarbille au cœur.

Condamné à bâtir le pays des autres.
Ici, il nous faut construire sur le sable. (Même si notre terre est plutôt un vaste rocher)
Mais tant que la lumière se lève de notre côté, rien ne pourra nous arriver. (Esperont toujours)

Note: Only the governments in Syria and Israel follow the events and a few details in Lebanon. All the others never cross their mind that lebanon is a worthy subject matter.

Only Lebanon local news media try hard to inflate this croaking grenouille “nafekh hal Dafda3at

Prayer to Beirut by Lebanese Amin Maalouf (French Academy)

The English translation follows

La prière d’ Amin Maalouf

De Beyrouth, capitale blessée,
Une prière vers le Ciel,
Quelle que soit la langue dans laquelle on Le prie,
Quel que soit le nom par lequel on L’invoque,

Que Son regard,
Qui embrasse l’univers et toutes les créatures,
Se fixe un peu sur nous.

Depuis trop longtemps nous expions
Les fautes de l’humanité entière,
En plus de nos propres égarements.

Depuis trop longtemps, chaque malheur,
Avant de se propager dans le monde,
Commence par s’acharner sur nous.

De cette ville tant de fois détruite,
Reconstruite, puis détruite à nouveau,
De ce rivage où, selon les légendes,
Un homme libre a su jadis terrasser le dragon,
Une prière vers le Ciel.

Pour que le Liban puisse,
Cette fois encore, se remettre debout,
Et relever ses murs, et panser ses blessures.

Qu’il sache surmonter sa détresse,
Sa douleur et son abattement.

Qu’il sache triompher
De la férocité du monde,
Et aussi de ses propres démons.

De notre havre millénaire devenu, soudain,
Un monument à la folie des hommes
Et le temple de leur colère,
Une prière vers le Ciel.

(

From Beirut, injured capital,
A prayer to heaven,
Whatever language we pray to Him,
Whatever name is called to Him,

That his look,
Who embrace the universe and all creatures,
Fixing a little on us.
For too long we’ve been expiring
The faults of all humanity,
In addition to our own misguidedness.
For too long, every misfortune,
Before spreading into the world,
Start by trying hard on us.

From this city so many times destroyed,
Rebuilt, then destroyed again,
From this shore where, according to legends,
A free man once knew how to terrass the dragon,
A prayer towards heaven.

So that Lebanon can,
That time again, get back up,
And lift her walls, and dress her wounds.
Let him overcome his distress,
His pain and abatement.
Let him triumph
From the fiercity of the world,
And also of his own demons.

From our millennial haven, suddenly,
A monument to the madness of men
And the temple of their wrath,
A prayer towards heaven.)

In memoriam for the slain in Palestinian refugee camp of Sabra and Shatila: Poem

(With a few editing, my style)

Luis Lázaro Tijerina. September 18, 2019

Shostakovich Leningrad Symphony
comes to mind this night, this cold September air
receding into the terrible morning,

As Israel armor and bulldozers
Drive through our lives with impunity,

Death, the talisman of their fury,
They and others kill Palestinians (and downtrodden Lebanese living there)
as if harvesting leaves falling

And burning on an autumn night.
How many sheaves of horror, how many dead
reported at Sabra and Shatila?

We count your heroic dead
as we count the aimless years
of our hypocritical lives.

We the spectators (the Silent Majority)
who did nothing here in America or abroad.
How many dead, how many dead,

Their fingers broken,
The young men’s faces slashed
because they refused
to sell-out their lives to the Phalangist thugs,
and their Israeli puppet-masters pulling the strings

In this macabre play of horror,
In the Lebanese night.
Haddad, the butcher, and his Israeli henchmen,
Boastful brutes

Their insidious laughter
coming from their snarled mouths
on a bitter Friday night,

Others in the world slept in self-satisfied beds.

The Shostakovich symphony of disaster echoes
like the rumble of dark thunder,

How many dead, I ask myself.
Hundreds, thousands? Those rivers of blood
spilled across the earthen floor of the camps.

On television screens
We still see the horror
In a tragic mural painted in more blood—
Those butchered, shot,
and thrown into piles of garbage (in a mass burying ground in the Sport Stadium by Israeli bulldozers).

The women raped
And hung, their screams like the screeching of violins

In this Soviet symphony I hear on a night
in loveless September.
The cinder block houses stormed
by dark monsters with machine-guns—

Israeli Uzis, not unlike the Nazi troops
who searched for defenseless, quarry at Leningrad…
Now at Shatila and Sabra,
Old men and women lay
In a shattered sleep—
bullets in their heads
against the walls.

The camps of Shatila and Sabra,
those Goya nightmares— our nightmares
on a September night,

There you are—
families gunned down.
See the smiles
on the Phalangists and Israeli faces?

They never cared about life,
For they feared death.
Cowards against a defenseless people,

The only passion they knew
on a heartless September night.
Sharon, the bloated,
stubby-fingered general,
planned the massacre with glee
in the privacy
of his wobbling, arrogant head.

Cover your dead with our grief,
Those of you who survived the bloodshed,
Remember the Palestinian dead
on this Crystal Night massacre.

The wailing and screaming tears the bitter skies.
Bullet-proof vests, Phalangists in shorts
They scurry like rats from cinder-house
to cinder-house.

At Akka Hospital,
Maimed and wounded, carried away,
Nurses raped and beaten
by Christian militia, professing innocence
in their sordid wet dreams
at Shatila and Sabra.

The refugee streets stink with death
Our lives stink with death.
Hypocrisy, our makeshift plumbing,
in our nightmares.

I hear the horns, the violins, the flutes singing
In the September night wind.

What song do they sing?
We have lived for centuries
of the old denial, the blood-walls of hate.

Identification papers handed-out
At a sport stadium; Zionist troops interrogate
the dead whose skins are pale like manikins,
and then we ask why—

Why so many dead in the streets
at Shatila and Sabra?
Rubble, death, medical wives,

Sisters kissing reporters’ arms
Because they want to know
“Who killed my brother?
Where is my father?
When will it all end!”

Shostakovitch symphony comes to its heroic end
on this September morning,
The slumber, my sleep, in our history,
Half-dream, half nightmare,
As the first autumn leaves begin to fall…

The revenge of cymbals, of the militant drums,
I hear in this morning dawn…
The tiers of the stadium wet with blood,
Palestinian blood,

Our hands are caked with their blood,
and the blood of others

We left behind in the gutted street
of retribution.

Note 1: I was in Lebanon at that period and we knew about this monster massacre 3 days later, after Israel allowed journalists and reporters to visit the camp.

Israeli bulldozers unloaded tons of chalk on the dumped bodies, one layers after the next ones.

Israeli troops lighted the sky for 2 nights so that the murderer mercenaries could achieve their macaber task thoroughly.

Note 2: I posted on my blog several articles on that events from various eyewitnesses and reporters.

Note 3: The camp had no fighters or weapons. All the fighters were shipped out of Beirut to Tunisia a few ago back with US guarantees that the helpless Palestinians in camps will be safe and secure. Even the Lebanese army stationed close by failed to intervene.

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Luis Lázaro Tijerina, Burlington, Vermont

 

“The man with the long curly hair”: Fragments of Abu Nuwas‘ Poems (February 12, 2009)

Note:  I am attempting to convey the style and position of the great Arab poet Abu Nawas during the Abbasid period.  The translation is not literal and I am selecting fragments in specific genres.

Ascetics  (Abu Nawas is witnessing his physical disintegration after his 50)

It is true O God: Great is my villainy.

Your clemency, I know, is infinite.

If the virtuous only dares keep hope.

Then, who the sinner is to appeal to?

Whom the sinner is to believe in?

In humility I implore you my Lord.

Don’t reject me! Only You can have pity.

You are the clement and forgiving.

Finally and besides, I am a Muslim.

My God, you have always been good to me.

My gratitude is little adequate.

Do I have to present my flat excuses?

My excuse is that I have none.

Nullity crawls in me; my members are dying one at a time. Every moment takes its share.

My youth has fled and didn’t deign to listen.

What have I done with my tender youth?

My youth was dedicated to pleasure, every day and every night.

All possible mischief I have committed.  Forgive me God; I hear you and I tremble.

The full moon is just a dim glow compared to your majestic Face.

I carry on my front the indelible mark of prostrations that might pass me a devout.

Oh, how many noble figures are entombed and as many refined beauties.

How many brave are buried and as many great minds.

Let a rational man interrogate Earth. 

We have taken all Earth’s alleys, highways, and passes.

Earth is our enemy disguised as friend.

 

Satires

(The Caliph Al Amine is pederast and wanted to honor Abu Nawas young son Mussa.  The satirized personalities were the poet’s benefactors and he joined their merriments)

The Caliph is losing his way.  It is the Caliph fault.

His ignorant vizier Fadl and his naïve counselor Bakr are to be blamed.

The Caliph Al Amine is a pederast.  He loves young eunuchs.

The Caliph is the active actor: How wonderful!

His vizier is the passive one.

The compromises of these two are splattering all the neighborhood.

Like a pissing camel.

“Canto General” or Pablo Neruda: The Comprehensive Song of Americana

“Canto General” or Pablo Neruda: wilderness, blood, and libertad; (July 23, 2009)

In 1945 Neruda is elected Senator to the mining northern region and he adhered to the Communist Party. Thousands of miners are sitting and listening to politicians delivering their speeches around a hot noon.  Neruda is announced to the podium; it was rumored that Pablo will recite a poem.  All the miners removed their hats and head gears: the thousands of illiterates were honoring the poet talking to their spirit.

President Videla persecuted Neruda who had to flee into exile through the Andes mountains.  By the time he reached Paris Neruda had finished his “Canto general”.  Neruda starts describing the land:

Look at the grand solitary South.

Everything is silence of water and wind.

Nobody there. Listen to the araucan tree.

Nobody there. Look at the stones.

Only exist the stones. Arauco.

Then Neruda describes the faunas and the plants and then recount the dignity of his hard-working people and how they sheltered him and fed him during his escape to exile:

Along the grand night, throughout the entire life,

Tears on paper, from attire to attire,

I marched in those misty days,

The fugitive to the police:

I was handed over from hand to hands.

Grave is the night but man disposed his fraternal signs.

By blind roads and plenty of shadows

I reached the lighted tiny star that was mine.

I don’t feel alone in the night.

 

Two huasos, Argentine cowboys gauchos, ride with fury; they rear up in front of the garden.  With one hand, one of the uncles carries little Pablo Neruda behind him on the rump of the horse (ride pillion). The other uncle is carrying a tied up sheep.  They gallop full wind to the sun set, to the shadow of a large tree with a crackling bonfire.

The muchachos fire their guns in the air; an uncle slid the sheep’s throat; the creamy blood is collected; Pablo drinks a cup full.  Songs on love, corazon, and guitar strumming fill the air.

I saw shadows, faces sprouting

Like plants around our roots, parents

Singing romance in the shadow of a tree

Running among the wet horses.

Women hidden in the shadow

Of masculine towers,

Galops whipping the light,

Rare nights of anger, dogs barking.

Chili is a continent in longitude, spanning a length as vast as from Norway to Senegal in Africa. Chili extends from the tropics all the way down to Antarctica and squeezed naturally between the Andes mountain chains to the Pacific. Al kinds of climates can be experienced when riding the rail from north to south.  Chili was never subjugated by any king or a colonial power.

Whitman, Thoreau, and Melville chanted the wilderness of North America; the background of these chants was a world already made, in a state of exploitation for profit. Neruda is chanting a wilderness with peasants and workers toiling on a savage world to be made. White, black, and Indian in utter poverty have no time to compare the color of their skins; they want to get out of the same life of misery. The South Americans chant liberty and freedom in every moment and at every occasion.

Neruda is the son of “a silent, mother of clay”:

What I saw first were the trees,

Ravines adorned in flowers, wild beauty,

Humid territory, forest ablaze,

And winter behind the world, overflowed.

My childhood, those wet shoes,

Tree trunks broken,

Fallen in the jungle, devoured by lichen.

Pablo was born in 1904 as Ricardo Neftali Reyes Morales and used his pen name Pablo Neruda because of the Czech poet Jan Neruda. His mother died of tuberculosis shortly after he was given birth.  Pablo’s dad Jose remarried Rosa Opazo who took care of Pablo as his real mother.  Jose Reyes constructed railways:

My dad sneaks out in the obscure dawn.

Toward what lost archipelagos these trains are howling?

Later, I liked the smell of coal in the fume;

The burned oil, and the precise frozen axes.

Suddenly, the doors rattled. It is my dad.

The centurions of the railway surround him:

Their wet coats inundate the house with steam.

Reports invade the dining room; wine bottles are emptied.

I capture the suffering, the crying, the dark scars, men with no money,

The mineral claws of poverty.

Pablo moved to Santiago in 1921 and studied French literature. Since 1927 he was successively appointed consul in Rangoon, in Sirilanka, then Batavia (Java) where he married the first time with Marie-Antoinette Vogelzanz (Maruca; a Dutch).  Pablo was then consul in Singapore. He said “without a friend it would have been very difficult for me”.

I did not like India.

I didn’t like the indecent costume,

People in rags; the miserable people are piled on top of others.

The streets, rivers of sobs,

The crowd, sentry of time, arbiters of black cicatrices,

Of slave controversies.

I roamed flat tiny villages; I entered majestic temples, dirty blood,

Dirty death, brutish priests, drunk with ardent stupor,

Disputing change money spilled on the ground.

Grand idols in phosphoric feet worshipped by tiny human beings.

I didn’t like what I saw… Was it out of pity or disgust?

Neruda was consul in Barcelona in 1934; his daughter Malva Marina was born in Madrid. Pablo is consul in Madrid in 1935. The Spanish civil started and Garcia Lorca is assassinated. Neruda writes his first political poem “Chant to mothers of assassinated militiamen” and was relieved of his official functions.

You ask me “Where are the lilacs?

Why my poems don’t talk of the dream of leaves,

The grand volcanos of my native country?

Do come witness

The blood in the streets (of Madrid).

In 1937, Neruda founded in Paris the Hispanic American Group to aiding the Spanish republicans. By 1938, Neruda’s father died and he started “Chant to Chili”. Neruda is dispatched to Paris in 1939 to facilitate the transfer of 2,000 Spanish refugees to Chili.  Neruda is again appointed consul in Mexico.

Neruda travels to the Soviet Union, Poland, and Mexico. He  receive the medal of Peace.  Neruda is back to Santiago in 1952 and built his house “The Chascona”. Neruda marries a third time with Matilde Urrutia, the love of his life; they went in a long trip to Europe. In 1960 Neruda is in Cuba after the success of the revolution of Fidel Castro and writes “Songs of gesture”.

In 1966 Neruda is invited in the USA for a series of reading; the Cuban poets and writers sign a letter proclaiming that Neruda has sided with the imperialist enemies.

Neruda is candidate to be President in 1969 but withdrew in favor of Salvador Allende; he is appointed Ambassador in Paris and receive the Nobel Prize of literature in 1972. In Paris Neruda is diagnosed with an incurable disease.

I write for the people.

Many cannot read my poems with their rural eyes.

Time is soon; a line,

Air that disrupted my life;

Will reach their ears.

They will say ”He was a comrade”

That is enough; this is the crown of laurel that I desired.

A military putsch kills Allende in September 1973; Neruda dies three days later at the age of 69. On his death-bed Neruda managed to sit and roar: ”Todos fusilados! Todos fusilados!” (All shot) In spite of the threats, hundreds accompanied Neruda to the grave.

What happened to that broken parcel

Of uncompleted man?

Light came, in spite of the daggers.

Note: I took great liberty translating portions of poems, my style.

Hiroshima was my City-like, until Beirut and its Port displaced it

Hiroshima is my City-like

You don’t want to approach Hiroshima.

You don’t need to visit my city like:

You touch a wall

You turn a rock.

 

What do you care of my city?

You will see but flies and road holes.

The only living friend

Is my gigantic boredom.

 

What should you care of my city like?

It was captured many times by hordes of Moguls and Tatars.

Every adventurer who set eyes on my city

Ended up suicidal.

 

Be careful my ignorant tourist.

Keep a distance of its broken columns,

Its hundred stone idols.

 

My heart is same as my closed in city like

Moonlight apprehends visiting it.

My heart is wet, a wet traveling kerchief,

 

A bird, for centuries lost in down pouring rain,

An empty bottle harassed on ocean waves.

Keep away from Hiroshima.

 

Tis no time turning a block of salt.

Note 1: A poem in Arabic that I extracted with abridged liberty from the late Syrian poet Nizar Qabbani.

Note 2: this atomic conflagration on the port of Beirut left over 200 dead and over 6,500 injured from the blast. More than 7,000 residence were demolished.

Gilgamesh confronting the Storm

This mythic Face Off 

These Face off have been going on since antiquity in our region

Important note: This is a liberal translation of an epic poem by late Syrian poet Mohammad al Maghout.

It was written over 30 years ago; way before Desert Storm on Iraq in 1991, as if a premonition.

And No, the Eagle does not represent a symbol to any State or tribe, religion, or any culture.

Excellent poets perceive invariants in human history and rephrase them in indelible images.

 

Epic story of Storm attacking Old Eagle

Waiting for the storm to hit

How could anyone cope with a storm?

What could you do in a desert storm?

 

Where is the storm?

It is on the horizon, hesitating;

A tramp at the hotel entrance.

 

Old eagle, maybe the last of his species,

Lonely, quiet, waiting for the storm;

A chauffeur waiting for his master.

 

Old eagle is tired of tasting occasional serene clouds;

An old chef tasting the remains of a banquet.

 

Queen storm is taking her time in front of the mirror.

Old eagle is ready to chase out the storm up front.

 

What could he do with a worn out beak?

A Decrepit beak and deformed from frequent shattering to pieces on rocks.

How could old eagle hurry to meet the storm?

A tottering bicycle crossing river bed?

 

For years, the white feathers of Eagle have been dirty;

Dirtier than an old waiter’s apron.

 

A gentle breeze nudging old eagle from rock to rock,

From plain to plain;

A bored old soldier in a camp

Anxious for his last battle, confronting a fly.

 

A soothing breeze floated over old eagle;

He fluttered, a youth touched by the first girl.

Old eagle heaves a sigh; he is reminiscing youth

 

Strong wings spanning the valley, glittering with sweat.

Tiny birds, out of breath, trailing valiantly behind,

Mobs running after the King’s horse,

 

Chants hoarse, hallelujah feeble.

Old eagle is dozing, in the scorching sun;

Epoch stretching out.

 

Suddenly, the universe blackened;

The world is still;

So still that the silence created religions out of fear;

 

Old eagle’s tail is waving.

Old eagle is hopping in circle;

A baby lamb welcoming its mother.

 

The storm thundered and hastened;

An ice skater showing off.

 

Old eagle is whispering an old victory song;

An eagle fallen off mountain tops,

A bride with no pendants and no cries.

 

Old eagle opened his old beak and retreated

In respect of his old master and teacher.

 

Old eagle is spinning amid his broken plumes,

His shouts clacking like rifle bullets

A mass of blood proudly lecturing

On the art of thirsting and ripping apart enemies.

 

The storm danced around old eagle and sneaked away.

Old eagle is mad; he is jumping cat-like;

A frightened baby stumbling for the door knob;

A drunkard coming back in the bar

Kicked out a hundred times and coming back.

 

Old eagle is wailing like a baby.

The storm lost steam on the sea-shore,

Medals and crowns scattered.

The bludgeoned face of a boxer;

A drunk washing his face.

 

Mighty storm is aching:

It recollects that a tiny creature fought to death.

Mighty storm is sprawled on the beach:

A monstrous tent shrinking to a headgear;

Tears dropping in eagle’s shape.

Note: After approving another half a dozen of my poems I sent this unpoetic voice site the following poem: https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2010/09/12/puny-avatar-why-in-the-name-of-god/

It was approved and then immediately the site “suspended” me without providing reasons.

It is to be noted that the site never presented any constraints beforehand for joining or the kind of poems “satisfactory” to their “ideology”.

Virgin wilderness, Pablo Neruda, blood, wind, libertad, Americana

Two huasos (Argentine cowboys gauchos), ride with fury; they rear up in front of the garden.

With one hand, one of the uncles carries little Pablo Neruda behind him on the rump of the horse (ride pillion); the other uncle is carrying a tied up sheep.

They gallop full wind to the sun set, to the shadow of a large tree with a crackling bonfire.

The muchachos fire their guns in the air; an uncle slid the sheep’s throat; the creamy blood is collected; Pablo drinks a cup full.

Songs on love, corazon, and guitar strumming fill the air.

 

I saw shadows, faces sprouting

Like plants around our roots, parents

Singing romance in the shadow of a tree

Running among the wet horses.

Women hidden in the shadow

Of masculine towers,

Galops whipping the light,

Rare nights of anger, dogs barking.

 

Chili is a continent in longitude, spanning a length as vast as from Norway to Senegal in Africa. Chili extends from the tropics all the way down to Antarctica and squeezed naturally between the Andes mountain chains to the Pacific.

All kinds of climates can be experienced when riding the rail from north to south.  Chili was never subjugated by any king or a colonial power.

Whitman, Thoreau, and Melville chanted the wilderness of North America: the background of these chants was a world already made, in a state of exploitation for profit.

Neruda is chanting a wilderness with peasants and workers toiling on a savage world to be made.

White, black, and Indian, in utter poverty, have no time to compare the color of their skins; they want to get out of the same life of misery.

The South Americans chant liberty and freedom in every moment and at every occasion. Neruda is the son of “a silent, mother of clay“:

 

What I saw first were the trees,

Ravines adorned in flowers, wild beauty,

Humid territory, forest ablaze,

And winter behind the world, overflowed.

My childhood, those wet shoes,

Tree trunks broken,

Fallen in the jungle, devoured by lichen.

Pablo was born in 1904 as Ricardo Neftali Reyes Morales.

He used his pen name (pseudonym) Pablo Neruda because of the Check poet Jan Neruda.

His mother died of tuberculosis shortly after he was given birth.  Pablo’s dad Jose Reyes remarried Rosa Opazo who took care of Pablo as his real mother.

Jose Reyes constructed railways:

 

My dad sneaks out in the obscure dawn.

Toward what lost archipelagos these trains are howling?

Later, I liked the smell of coal in the fume;

The burned oil, and the precise frozen axes.

Suddenly, the doors rattled. It is my dad.

The centurions of the railway surround him:

Their wet coats inundate the house with steam.

Reports invade the dining room; wine bottles are emptied.

I capture the suffering, the crying, the dark scars, men with no money,

The mineral claws of poverty.

This part is a short biography for anyone interested.

Pablo moved to Santiago in 1921 and studied French literature. Since 1927 he was successively appointed consul in Rangoon, in Sri Lanka, then Batavia (Java) where he married the first time with Marie-Antoinette Vogelzang (Maruca; a Dutch).  Pablo was then consul in Singapore, Barcelona in 1934. His daughter Malva Marina was born in Madrid.

Pablo is consul in Madrid in 1935. The Spanish civil started and Garcia Lorca is assassinated. Neruda writes his first political poem “Chant to mothers of assassinated militiamen” and was relieved of his official functions.

In 1937, Neruda founded in Paris the Hispanic American Group to aiding the Spanish republicans.

By 1938, Neruda’s father died and he started “Chant to Chili”. Neruda is dispatched to Paris in 1939 to facilitate the transfer of 2,000 Spanish refugees to Chili.  Neruda is again appointed consul in Mexico.

In 1945 Neruda is elected Senator to the mining northern region and he adhered to the Communist Party.

President Videla persecuted Neruda who had to flee into exile in 1949 through the Andes mountains.   Neruda travels to the Soviet Union, Poland, and Mexico. He  receive the medal of Peace.

Neruda is back to Santiago in 1952 and built his house “The Chascona“. Neruda marries a third time with Matilde Urrutia and they went in a long trip to Europe. In 1960 Neruda is in Cuba after the success of the revolution of Fidel Castro and writes “Songs of gesture”.

In 1966 Neruda is invited in the USA for a series of reading; the Cuban poets and writers sign a letter proclaiming that Neruda has sided with the imperialist enemies.

Neruda is candidate to be President in 1969 but withdrew in favor of Salvador Allende; he is appointed Ambassador in Paris and receive the Nobel Prize of literature in 1972.

A military putsch kills Allende in September 1973. Neruda dies three days later at the age of 69, most probably assassinated .

Powdered milk, in exchange for childhood?

They gave us powdered milk…and took away our childhood…
(By late Muhammad Maghout)
They gave us watches and robbed us of the Time
They handed us shoes and exploited the Roads
They offered us rings and perfume and hided from us Love
They brought us the swings and prevented us from Celebrating
They lavished on us chemical fertilizers and stole the Springs
They initiated us with Parliaments and denied us Freedom
They made us buy guards and locks and robbed us of Security
They gave us powdered milk and took away our Childhood
They infiltrated insurgents for us and wasted our Revolution…
Note 1: You may read another translated poem of Maghout of “Story-of-eagle-and-storm” https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2010/04/29/time-says-my-story-of-eagle-and-storm/

I thought we drawn in blue eyes?

Port of your blue sea eyes 

On the deck of your blue eyes rain

Audible vibrating lights.

 

On the port of your blue eyes

From a tiny open window

A view

Of faraway birds swarming,

Searching for yet undiscovered islands.

 

On the deck of your blue eyes

Summer snow is falling.

 

I am a kid jumping over rocks

Deeply inhaling the sea wind

And then returns a weary bird.

 

On the port of your blue eyes

I dream of oceans and navigation.

 

If I were a seafarer

If anyone lent me a boat

I would surely ease up my boat closer

To your blue sea eyes

Every sundown.

Note 1: An abridged free translation from Arabic of the famous late Syrian poet Nizar Qabbani.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

October 2020
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