Silvina Ocampo (1903-1993): PALINURUS SLEEPLESS

Translated by Timothy Adès

PALINURO INSOMNE

nudus in ignota, Palinure, iacebis harena

Las olas y las algas y las alas,
los caracoles rotos y sonoros,
la sal y el yodo, las tormentas malas,
los delfines inciertos y los coros

de sirenas cansadas de cantar,
no te reemplazarán las tierras suaves
donde vagabas con el quieto andar
que aleja siempre a las profundas naves.

Palinuro: tu rostro clausurado
y marítimo ofrece a la serena
noche insomnios. Desnudo y acostado

perpetuarás tus muertes en la arena,
y crecerán con distracción de piedra
tus uñas y tu pelo entre la hiedra.

nudus in ignota, Palinure, iacebis harena

Seawaves seaweeds and seawings
snailwhorls seawrecked and sounding
salt iodine and stormwind
sparse dolphins and the chorus

of sirens tired of singing:
no match for lands of pleasure
you roamed with silent footfall
to keep the deep ships from you.

Night sleeps not Palinurus
to see you beached and seachanged:
your face is sealed. Lie naked

and die and die, and mindless
as stone your nails and hair still
shall grow among the ivy.

Translation: Copyright © Timothy Adès

Publ in CA News, Dec 1992

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