In December, 2014, I posted a two-part series of translations of the Argentine poet, Olga Orozco. Leafing through a binder, I discovered two of my translations not yet posted. Here is one of them.
Rhapsody in the Rain
by Olga Orozco,
translated from the Spanish
from your now you will be seeing
under this same rain the rains of the deluge
and those who washed their shamed roses of Chaldea
or the ones wrung out from the druid altar to the gallows
and who went to whisper over a hostile tomb in thorny Patagonia,
and also the blues, the prodigious storytellers,
the ones who promised you a miracle when you were still visible.
Such an inventory of rain in the embalmed archives of History!
More, what do rains matter?
It would be the same if you saw dynasties of sunsets, medals, or bonfires.
I only want to say that you are a witness of all places,
a guest of time before the repertoire of memory and of oracle,
and that each place is a meeting place like the end of a tree-lined avenue.
But these steps of yours, vacillating, under the frequent feet of rain
move me even more than your lamentations in the endless corridor
or your old message for today, found between books.
You would gamble these broken words for your name trembling in glass,
all the salt of the earth would place a bet
on your coming to fight for me against the legionnaires of shadows,
or your trying to find the blue bottlefly that buzzes with death,
or your paying an exorbitant price to embrace narcissus and poppies
—the vibration most intimate of any season—
always bordering the precipices to the ends of the earth,
always at the point of falling into the bonfire,
without remission and without breath.
And nevertheless you have seen the miserable reverse of every trauma,
you know like no one else the intrigue of error that was walled up with my pride,
my dark pettiness.
You would like to keep secret the inoccultable imperfection with the shine of a slash,
turn my channeled footsteps toward applause and certainty,
correct the reach of my eyes,
the temper of my species.
Do I not hear you spin and spin between the gusts of water cleansing every fault?
And do you not intend perhaps to reveal to me with your melody the skies
you already know?
You will achieve again the yielding of this night to dawn
insisting on remaining, like before, on wringing yourself over there beyond the walls,
there, where we share only ephemeral gains and infinite loss,
changes in the margins that obscure vision,
even while the rain falls.
© Elaine Stirling, copyright translation, 2014
Image: Photographer unknown