Found in Translation: Poems in Many Tongues


Cédric Le Borgne - homme-volant-7-durham-2011Cédric le Borgne

Ren Powell

I was early taught to sorrow
to shed tears

and now
when sudden joy lights up

or any unexpected sorrow strikes
my heart

I find it
difficult to repress the full swelling

tide of
feeling

translated into Norwegian by Eirik Lodén

Cédric Le Borgne - homme-volant-2-Durham-2011-800Jeg lærte tidlig å sørge
å felle tårer

og nå
når plutselig glede lyser opp

eller en uventet sorg rammer
mitt hjerte

er det vanskelig
å holde tilbake den fulle svulmende

følelsens
flodbølge

[from An Elastic State of Mind (Wigestrand, 2012)]

Cédric Le Borgne - oiseaux-23

J. I. E. Teodoro

Umaga, Sa Puerto del Mar, Isla Guimaras

Palaging may nakatagong dalampasigan
Sa aking dibdib
Kung saan buong taon ay tag-araw
At iniimbitahan lamang
Ang tag-ulan kapag ako’y nalulungkot.
Subalit ngayong umaga
Nasa totoong tagong dalampasigan ako,
Lumalangoy mag-isa sa tubig-dagat
Na may linis ng pinakamagandang binalaybay.
Siguro ang tarangkahan ng langit
Ay isang dalampasigan
Na simputi ng mahahabang damit ng mga anghel.
Siguro ang koro ng mga anghel
Ay sinlamig pakinggan
Katulad ng dalisay na lagaslas
Ng maliliit na alon.
Kaysarap sigurong malagutan ng hininga
Habang nakahiga ako sa dagat
At ninanamnam ang yakap
Ng kasisikat pa lamang na araw.
Ang kaso maraming tula pa akong
Dapat sulatin.
Mga tula ng pag-ibig.
Pag-ibig na katulad ng dagat,
Makulay at malalim
Ang mga misteryong iniingatan.

Morning, Puerto del Mar, Isla Guimaras
translated from the Tagalog into English by Luisa A. Igloria

Always, there is a hidden cove
in my heart
where all year it is summer
and the rain visits
only when I am desolate.
But this morning,
I am truly at the sea,
swimming by myself in waters
whose lines are clean as a poem.
Perhaps, heaven’s jetway is a shore
with sand as fine and white as the long dresses of angels.
Perhaps the chorus of their voices
is cool and pure as the lapping tongues
of the smallest waves.
How blissful it would be to take my last breath
reclining in the arms of the sea,
wrapped in the warm rays
of a just-risen sun.
But I have many more poems
that I must write.
Poems of love.
Love like the sea,
deep and color-changing,
custodian of mysteries.

Cédric Le Borgne - oiseaux-38

Graciela Reyes

La vela enrollada

Pase lo que pase, pensaba
cuando tú me preguntabas qué pensaba,
nunca perderé este momento.
Han cortado el puentecito para que salgan al mar los veleros
y esperamos todos de pie, calculando cuántos faltan,
los niños hacen preguntas, dónde van, por qué llevan la vela enrollada,
las ancianas siguen hablando de sus cosas,
una pareja se besa,
tú me miras, me miras. Vamos a cruzar ese mar mínimo
para ir a tomar la primera copa al otro lado.  No queremos ver el mar,
sino la ciudad desde el mar.  Tenemos todo el tiempo de la vida.
Nunca volví a sentir que tenía todo el tiempo de la vida.
Salen los veleros al mar, con la vela enrollada, y el puente cortado cruje un poco
debajo de nuestos pies.  El agua brilla.
En qué piensas, preguntas con esa sonrisa
del que quiere saber lo que ya sabe.
En nada, yo no pensaba en nada.

The Furled Sail
translated from the Spanish into English by Jackie K. White

Whatever happens, I was thinking
when you asked me what I was thinking,
I’ll never lose this moment.
They’ve split the drawbridge to let the sailboats out to sea
and we all stand, waiting, counting how many more–
the children ask questions, where are they going, why are the sails furled,
the old women go on chattering,
a couple is kissing,
you look, and look, at me. We’re going to cross that small sea
to have our first drink on the other side. We don’t want to look at the sea,
but at the view it gives of the city and we have all the time in the world.
I never recaptured that feeling, of having all the time in the world.
The sailboats head out to sea, sails furled, and under our feet the bridge
creaks a little. The water glistens.
What are you thinking, you ask with that smile
of someone who wants to know what he already knows.
Nothing, I was thinking of nothing.

Cédric le borgne-le-veilleur5-durham-2011