The Ofi Press Magazine

International Poetry and Literature from Mexico City

Pedro Serrano: 4 Poems Published in Translation

Poems by Pedro Serrano (Mexico)

Translated by Don Cellini (USA)

Published in Issue 32 of The Ofi Press.

All poems are from Nueces.  Pedro Serrano.  2009.  Trilce Ediciones S.A. de C.V.  México, D.F.

Oleaje/ Waves

Oleaje

 

Aceptar que no estás.

Dejar que pase el golpe, que se acomode,

que se instale el dolor y el desconcierto.

Aceptarlo

con la flor de la infancia en las manos abiertas.

No abrir el camarote del amor.

Aceptar que te vas

como un barco se borra

y el mar sigue.

 

Waves

 

To accept that you aren’t here.

To get over the shock, let

sorrow and uncertainty take over.

To accept it

open handed with the flower of infancy.

Not to open the chamber of love.

To accept that you are leaving

like a boat that fades away

and the sea that goes on.

Luminaria/ Luminary

Luminaria

 

Como una luciérnaga en medio de un campo

hecho solo de ruidos,

con el brillo, latente, luz adentro,

cascabel, diminuto e inaudito.

Me apago hacia mí mismo para que tú te pierdas,

me apago.

Luminary

 

Like a firefly in the middle of a field

made only of noise,

its shining, latent, light within,

a tiny bell, small and soundless.

I extinguish my light so that you may lose yourself.

I fade away.

Brisa/ Breeze

Brisa

 

Como no hay realidad dependo ahora

entre tú y yo del ruido de las hojas,

de las señales de los muertos,

de la vibración tenue del alma.

Como no hay realidad tú vas y vienes

como el viento, que está y desaparece.

Hace  mucho que no te cuento nada.

¿Quién soy?  ¿Quién eres tú sin mi?

No se describir el desacomodo, el seguimiento.

Queda restituir, si se puede, una coloración del cristal.

Quiero la suavidad, el agua quiero,

que se deposite físicamente en paz,

que algo se encienda en ti y en mí,

como un viento que besa.

Breeze

 

Since there is no reality, you and I now

depend on the noise of the leaves,

on signs from the dead,

on the tenuous vibration of the soul.

Since there is no reality, you come and go

like the wind, which is here and gone.

It’s been a long time since I’ve told you anything.

Who am I?  Who are you without me?

How do I describe this constant unease?

It never goes away, a coloring of glass.

I want softness, I want water;

something that leaves physical peace;

something that flows between you and me,

like a kiss from a breeze.

About the poet and translator...

 

Pedro Serrano is a poet from Mexico who writes in Spanish.

Pedro Serrano has published five collections of poems: El miedo (Fear) México El Tucán de Virginia, 1986; Ignorancia (Ignorance) México El Equilibrista, 1994; Tres poemas (Three poems) Caracas Pequeña Venecia, 2000; Turba (Peat) Ediciones sin Nombre,  Mexico, 2005; and Desplazamientos (Displacements), Editorial Candaya - Candaya Poesia 5 (2007). His latest collection of poems, Nueces was  published in 2009 and a study on T. S. Eliot and Octavio Paz is due in 2010.

With Carlos López Beltrán, Pedro edited and translated the groundbreaking anthology La generación del cordero: Antología de la poesía actual en las Islas Británicas (The Lamb Generation) which brought together translations of 30 contemporary British poets (Trilce 2000). His libretto for the opera Marimbas de l'Exile/El Norte en Veracruz was first staged in Besançon France in January 2000 and then travelled to Paris and Mexico. He has also translated Shakespeare's King John into Spanish.

Many of his poems have been translated into English and have been published in Modern Poetry in Translation, Verse, Sirena, The Rialto, The  Red Wheelbarrow and Nimrod Internacional Journal.  He has been also included in the anthologies Reversible Monuments (Copper Canyon 2002) and Connecting Lines (Sarabande Books, 2006).

Pedro Serrano was awarded a Guggenheim Poetry Fellowship in 2007. He teaches in the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in Mexico City.

He is editor of UNAM's highly-regarded poetry website, Periodico de Poesia.

Translator: 

Don Cellini is a poet, translator and photographer. He is the author of Approximations/Aproximaciones (2005) and Inkblots (2008) both collections of bilingual poems published by March Street Press. His book of prose poems, Translate into English was released in 2010 by Mayapple Press. His book of translations, Elías Nandino: Selected Poems (2010 McFarland Publishers) is the first book-length translation of the Mexican poet. He is a recipient of fellowships from the King Juan Carlos Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. He teaches at Adrian College in Michigan. http://www.doncellini.com/

 

Vuelo/ Flight

Vuelo

 

Levantando por varias alas de amor

vivo la desproporción de los elementos,

la suavidad de sus caídas, el azoro,

las piezas únicas de una música multirrítmica,

la coloratura de vientos dispersos,

el ruido sordo de los grillos,

las risas y los ecos de corrientes diversas.

Quiero detenerme aquí y allá,

ser en el viento el gesto de la espiga de trigo,

caer en el negro lodazal de uvas apisonadas.

En medio de distintos alientos

paso una encrucijada de ramas y destinos,

la calidez del sol y el aura negra de la noche,

la piel de pan y las alas lustrales.

Vuelo no porque tema la noche de ceniza

ni el vuelo frio de acero despojado

sino porque las alas se abren en un punto solar,

luminarias en los polvos de agosto.

Acecho como lechuza la parda sombra de los pinos,

el campo desolado,

el agua de la luna.

Y levanto el bueno con la mirada en peso,

alma de amor y amor en cada ala.

Flight

 

Lifted by various wings of love

I live the disparity of the elements,

the softness of its falls, flustered,

the unique pieces of multi-rhythmic music,

the coloratura of disperse winds,

the deaf noise of the crickets,

the laughter and echoes of diverse currents.

I’d like to linger here and there,

to be the gesture of the stalk of wheat in the wind,

to fall into the black bog of stomped grapes.

In the pause between breaths,

I pass a crossroad of branches and destinations,

the warmth of the sun and the black aura of night,

the crust of the bread and the lustrous wings.

I fly not for fear of the ashen night

nor the cold flight of stripped steel

but because my wings open in a solar point,

luminaries in the dusts of August.

I spy on the brown shadows of the pines like an owl,

the deserted field,

the water of the moon.

And I raise up the weight of good,

soul of love and love on each wing.