Sunday, July 06, 2003

The moon, the moon

Compare the translation of this poem by Fedrico Garcia Lorca with its Persian translation by Shamloo. I think if Borges was alive and knew Persian language he would have written an essay about Shamloo and Lorca; similar to the one he wrote about Khayam and Fitzgerald (El enigma de Edward Fitzgerald in "Otras Inquisiciones.")

* The moon, the moon

The moon comes to the forge
With a bustle of nard, in style:
The child stares at the moon
Fixedly all the while.
Across the moving air
The moon holds out her arms,
Her metal breasts are bare,
Shiny and pure and hard.

"Run away, run away, Moon!
For if the gypsies come
They'll stamp your silver heart
For bangle and ring and charm."
"Stop, child, let me dance.
When the gypsies come to-night,
They'll find you on the anvil
With your little eyes shut tight."
"Run away, run away, Moon!
I hear their horses near."
"Stop, child, do not crush
My starched and shiny dress."

Rider and horse appear
With a long roll of the drum,
The great drum of the plain,
And the child's little eyes
Shut tight against the scene.

From fields of olive come
The gypsies, dreamy and brown,
The head held very high,
The sleepy eyes half-down.

How the screech-owl sends
Her long-drawn wailing cry
While the moon with the child
Wends across the sky.

And in the smithy tears,
Tears, and gypsy crying
And the wail of the watching wind,
Watching, watching, and hiding.