Poesía y traducción

Charles Wright



How soon we come to road’s end—
Failure, our two-dimensional side-kick, flat dream-light,
Won’t jump-start or burn us in,

Dogwood insidious in its constellations of part-charred cross points,
Spring’s via Dolorosa
                                  flashed out in a dread profusion,
Nowhere to go but up, nowhere to turn, dead world-weight,

They’ve gone and done it again,
Spring’s sap-crippled, arthritic, winter-weathered, myth limb,
Whose roots are my mother’s hair.


Landscape’s a lever of transcendence—
                                         jack-wedge it here,
Or here, and step back,
Heave, and a light, a little light, will nimbus your going forth:

The dew bead, terminal bead, opens out
                                                onto a great radiance,
Sun’s square on magnolia leaf
Offers us entrance—
                          who among us will step forward,

Camellia brown boutonnieres
Under his feet, plum branches under his feet, white sky, white
Church bells like monk’s mouths tonguing the hymn?


Journal and landscape
—Discredited form, discredited subject matter—
I tried to resuscitate both, breath and blood,
                                                making them whole again

Through language, strict attention—
Verona mi fe’, disfecemi Verona, the song goes.
I’ve hummed it, I’ve bridged the break

To no avail.
                April. The year begins beyond words,
Beyond myself and the image of myself, beyond
Moon’s ice and summer’s thunder. All that.


The meat of the sacrament is invisible meat and a ghostly
I’ll say.
                Like any visible thing,
I’m always attracted downward, and soon to be killed and

Vessel of life, it’s said, vessel of life, brought to naught,
Then gathered back to what’s visible.
That’s it, fragrance of spring like lust in the blossom-starred orchard,

The shapeless shape of darkness starting to seep through and

The seen world starting to tilt,
Where I sit the still, unwavering point
                                                under that world’s waves.


How like the past the clouds are,
Building and disappearing along the horizon,
Inflecting the mountains,
                                         laying their shadows under our feet

For us to cross over on.
Out of their insides fire falls, ice falls,
What we remember that still remembers us, earth and air fall.

Neither, however, can resurrect or redeem us,
Moving, as both must, ever away toward opposite corners.
Neither has been where we’re going,
              bereft of an attitude.


Amethyst, crystal transparency,
                Maya and Pharaoh ring,
Malocchio, set against witchcraft,
Lightening and hailstorm, birthstone, savior from drunkenness.

Purple, color of insight, clear sight,
Color of memory—
                violet, that’s for remembering,
Star-crystals scattered across the penumbra, hard stars.

Who can distinguish darkness from the dark, light from light,
Subject matter from story line,
                            the part from the whole
When whole is part of the part and part is all of it?


Lonesomeness. Morandi, Cézanne, it’s all about lonesomeness.
And Rothko. Especially Rothko.
Separation from what heals us
                                                beyond painting, beyond art.

Words and paint, black notes, white notes.
Music and landscape; music, landscape and sentences.
Gestures for which there is no balm, no intercession.

Two tone fields, horizon a line between abysses,
Generally white, always speechless.
Rothko could choose either one to disappear into.
And did.


Perch’io non spero di tornar giammai, ballatetta, in Toscana,
Not as we were the first time,
                                                not as we’ll ever be again.
Such snowflakes of memory, they fall nowhere but there.

Absorbed in remembering, we cannot remember—
Exile’s anthem, O stiff heart,
Thingless we came into the world and thingless we leave.

Every important act is wordless—
                                                          to slip from the right way,
To fail, still accomplishes something.
Even a good thing remembered, however, is not as good as not
                remembering at all.


Time is the source of all good,
              time the engenderer

Of entropy and decay,
Time the destroyer, our only-begetter and advocate.

For instance, my fingernail,
                so pink, so amplified,
In the half-dark, for instance,
These force-fed dogwood blossoms, green-leafed, defused,
                limp on their long branches.

St. Stone, say a little prayer for me,
                grackles and jay in the black gum,
Drowse of the peony head,
Dandelion globes luminous in the last light, more work to be
                done . . .


There is forgetfulness in me which makes me descend
Into a great ignorance,
And makes me to walk in mud, though what I remember remains.

Some of the things I have forgotten:
Who the Illuminator is, and what he illuminates;
Who will have pity on what needs have pity on it.

What I remember redeems me,
                                                strips me and brings me to rest.
An end to what has began,
A beginning to what is about to be ended.


What are the determining moments of our lives?
                                                                          How do we know them?
Are they ends of things or beginnings?
Are we more or less of ourselves once they’ve come and gone?

I think this is one of mine tonight,
The Turkish moon and its one star
                                                         Crisp as a new flag
Over my hometown street with its dark trash cans looming along
            the curb.

Surely this must be one. And what of me afterwards
When the moon and her sanguine consort
Have slipped the horizon? What will become of me then?


Some names are everywhere—they are above and they are below,
They are concealed and they are revealed.
We call them wise, for the wisdom of death is called the little

And my name? And your name?
                                Where will we find them, in what pocket?
Wherever it is, better to keep them there not known—
Words speak for themselves, anonymity speaks for itself.

The Unknown Master of the Pure Poem walks nightly among his
The very garden his son laid out.
Every so often he sits down. Every so often he stands back up . . .


Heavy, heavy, heavy hangs over our heads. June heat.
How many lives does it take to fabricate this one?
Aluminum pie pan bird frightener
                                dazzles and feints in a desultory breeze

Across the road, vegetable garden mojo, evil eye.
That’s one life I know for sure.
Others, like insects in amber,
                                         lie golden and lurking and hidden from us.

Ninety-four in the shade, humidity huge and inseparable,
Noon sun like a laser disk.
The grackle waddles forth in his suit of lights,
                                                           the crucifixion on his back.


Affection’s the absolute
                                        everything rises to,
Devotion’s detail, the sum of all our scatterings,
Bright imprint our lives unshadow on.

Easy enough to say that now, the hush of late spring
Hung like an after-echo

Over the neighborhood,
                                         devolving and disappearing.

Easy enough, perhaps, but still true,
Honeysuckle and poison ivy jumbling out of the hedge,
Magnolia beak and white tongue, landscape’s off-load, love’s lisp.


Charles Wright es traducido por:

- Jeannette L. Clariond

Publicado el 20/5/2010

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