Carlos Pezoa Véliz (1879-1908): The Bohemian Raises his Glass

Translated by Timothy Adès

Pezoa was Municipal Secretary of the Chilean town of Viña del Mar – Vineyard-on-Sea.

No escupáis a los beodos que perecen
aturdiendo en el vino sus dolores;
si odiáis a la embriaguez, odiad las flores
que ebrias de sol en la mañana crecen.
Los ojos de las vÌrgenes ofrecen
la sublime embriaguez de los amores,
y los besos son báquicos licores
al caer en los labios, estremecen.
Embriagada de luz, Ofelia vaga
en las sombras de un campo desolado;
el sacerdote en el altar se embriaga
con la sangre de Dios crucificado,
y el poeta mirando de hito en hito
la gran pupila azul del infinito!
Don’t look down on the drunkards who perish
befuddling their sorrows with wine:
you don’t hate the flowers that flourish
light-headed in morning sunshine.
The eyes of the ladies attract us
to the high drunken rapture of passion;
their kisses are Bacchus’s nectars –
our lips are in thrall to sensation.
Drunk with light goes Ophelia, sunken
In the gloom of a desolate plain;
The priest at the altar is drunken
With the blood of a god that is slain,
Like the poet who gazes unblinking
At the boundless blue eye of the main!
Translation: Copyright © Timothy Adès

This entry was posted in Poems and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.