Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Ernesto Cardenal / Dawn

by Ernesto Cardenal
Translated by Mark Zimmerman

Now the roosters are singing.
Natalia, your rooster's already sung, sister,
Justo, yours has already sung, brother.
Get up off your cots, your bed mats.
I seem to hear the congos awake on the other coast.
We can already blow on the kindling - throw out the pisspot.
Bring an oil lamp so we can see the faces.
A dog in a hut yelped
and a dog from another hut answered.
Juana, it's time to light the stove, sister.
The dark is even darker because day is coming.
Get up Chico, get up Pancho.
There's a horse to mount,
we have to paddle a canoe.
Our dreams had us separated, in folding
cots and bed mats (each of us dreaming our own dream)
but our awakening reunites us.
The night already draws away followed by its witches and ghouls.
We will see the water very blue; right now we don't see it. - And
this land with its fruit trees, which we also don't see.
Wake up Pancho Nicaragua, grab your machete
there's a lot of weeds to cut
grab your machete and your guitar.
There was a owl at midnight and a hoot owl at one.
The night left without moon or any morning star.
Tigers roared on this island and those on the coast called back.
Now the night bird's gone, the one that says: Sc-rewed, Sc-rewed.
Later the skylark will sing in the palm tree.
She'll sing: Compañero
Ahead of the light goes the shade flying like a vampire.
Wake up you, and you, and you.
(Now the roosters are singing.)
Good morning, God be with you!

Translation by Mark Zimmerman
from Flights of Victory/Vuelos de Victoria
edited and translated by Mark Zimmerman, Orbis Books, Maryknoll NY 1985.

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Ernesto Cardenal / Vision from the Blue Plane-Window

Ernesto Cardenal
By Guayasamin

Vision from the Blue Plane-Window 

by Ernesto Cardenal

In the round little window, everything is blue,
land bluish, blue-green, blue
    (and sky)
 everything is blue
blue lakes and lagoons
   blue volcanoes
while farther off the land looks bluer
 blue islands in a blue lake.
This is the face of the land liberated.
And where all the people fought, I think:
      for love!
To live without the hatred
    of exploitation.
To love one another in a beautiful land
so beautiful, not only in itself
   but because of the people in it,
above all because of the people in it.
That's why God gave us this beautiful land
for the society in it.
And in all those blue places they fought, suffered
   for a society of love
    here in this land.

One patch of blue looks more intense...
And I thought I was seeing the sites of all the battles there,
and of all the deaths,
behind that small, round windowpane
     all the shades of blue.