Category: Translation

“Llegar a Nueva York”, una poema de John Updike, traducida del inglés al español por Manuel Martínez Novillo

Manuel Martinez Novillo

Llegar a Nueva York

 

de John Updike

 

Después de Providence, Connecticut:

el verde desafiante del paisaje, sin interrupción

salvo por esas ciudades en fila, astutas y engreídas,

pueblos en espíritu, demasiado vitales para ser llamados

por lo que son, demasiado pequeños para parecer sinceros.

Y luego como la Muerte esto cae sobre nosotros:

una planicie de basura echando vapor, una capa de marrón

que empieza a teñir los árboles y el césped como

si hubieran sido expuestos a rayos del centro del calor-

esos son los signos que vemos en retrospectiva.

Pero miramos impactados y nos asombra

que el verde haya desaparecido de las ventanas,

que el horizonte hacia todos lados esté segmentado

en tantas líneas pequeñas que lo confundimos

con el perfil de un cerro arbolado contra el cielo, o que tan lejos

como la mente puede ir hay edificios, pavimento, calles.

Los más altos se elevan en la niebla como dioses

serenos y atentos, pero nosotros tenemos miedo igual,

porque hemos visto desde este tren la lucha

por la complejidad: la hoja se ha convertido en piedra.

 

                                                                                        

 

Traducción: Manuel Martínez Novillo

 

 

Coming into New York

 

After Providence, Connecticut-

the green defiant landscape, unrelieved

except by ordered cities, smart and smug,

in spirit villages, too full of life

to be so called, too small to seem sincere.

And then like Death it comes upon us:

the plain of steaming trash, the tinge of brown

that colors now the trees and grass as though

exposed to rays sent from the core of heat-

these are the signs we see in retrospect.

But we look up amazed and wonder that

the green is gone out of our window, that

horizon on all sides is segmented

into so many tiny lines that we

mistake it for the profile of a wooded

hill against the sky, or that as far

as mind can go are buildings, paving, streets.

The tall ones rise into the mist like gods

serene and watchful, yet we fear, for we

have witnessed from this train the struggle to

complexity: the leaf has turned to stone.                  1953

 

Source: John Updike. 2015. Selected Poems. Edited by Christopher Carduff. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

Acerca de Manuel Martinez Novillo

Today, February 21, is the birthday of Alexandra Büchler, Director of Literature Across Frontiers (LAF)

Alexandra Büchler: Photo Martina Kenji

Alexandra Büchler is Director of Literature Across Frontiers (LAF). A translator and editor of numerous publications, she was born in Prague and started her career as cultural manager with the Australia Council for the Arts before moving to the UK where she co-founded LAF in 2000 and launched it with support of the then Culture Programme of the European Union in 2001. She served on the board of the advocacy network Culture Action Europe and of the UK Translators’ Association, and currently serves on the Executive Committee of the European Civil Society Platform for Multilingualism and on the Translation and Linguistic Rights Committee of Wales PEN Cymru. She oversees LAF’s research and the publication of its reports. Her interest lies in the area literature and translation policies, EU external cultural relations, and the role of civil society in international cultural activities and cultural policy development.

She has translated more than twenty books of fiction and poetry and publications on visual arts and architecture, and edited six anthologies of short fiction in Czech and English translation Among the authors she has translated into her native Czech are J.M. Coetzee, David Malouf, Janice Galloway, Gail Jones, Jeanette Turner Hospital and Rhea Galanaki. Her translation into English of the Czech modern classic The House of a Thousand Floors by Jan Weiss was published by Central European University Press in 2016.