5 de junio de 2009

Imagine the angels of bread | Poesía de Martin Espada

Martin Espada nació en Brooklyn-New York en 1957. Es profesor de escritura creativa en la universidad de Massachusetts-Amherst, y además experto en la poesía de Neruda. Sus raíces son puertorriqueñas y está comprometido profundamente con las causas sociales, lo que se refleja en su poesía y por lo que ha recibido el apodo de Neruda norteamericano. Distinción que personalmente me parece accesoria, ya que la poesía de Martin Espada tiene méritos propios.

En la librería de poesía ONOMATOPEYA (Merced #22 piso 4), encontré a un precio módico su poemario LA REPÚBLICA DE LA POESIA, edición bilingüe, que fue publicado en Chile por la alianza editorial MAGO EDITORES y CARAJO. Sus poemas están inspirados en las experiencias en Chile durante su visita de 2004, por la conmemoración de los 100 años desde el nacimiento de Pablo Neruda.

Su poemario "Imagine the Angels of Bread", comienza con el poema del mismo nombre, cuya traducción prometo publicar junto a este poema.




Imagine the Angels of Bread


This is the year that squatters evict landlords,
gazing like admirals from the rail
of the roofdeck
or levitating hands in praise
of steam in the shower;
this is the year
that shawled refugees deport judges
who stare at the floor
and their swollen feet
as files are stamped
with their destination;
this is the year that police revolvers,
stove-hot, blister the fingers
of raging cops,
and nightsticks splinter
in their palms;
this is the year
that darkskinned men
lynched a century ago
return to sip coffee quietly
with the apologizing descendants
of their executioners.

This is the year that those
who swim the border's undertow
and shiver in boxcars
are greeted with trumpets and drums
at the first railroad crossing
on the other side;
this is the year that the hands
pulling tomatoes from the vine
uproot the deed to the earth that sprouts the vine,
the hands canning tomatoes
are named in the will
that owns the bedlam of the cannery;
this is the year that the eyes
stinging from the poison that purifies toilets
awaken at last to the sight
of a rooster-loud hillside,
pilgrimage of immigrant birth;
this is the year that cockroaches
become extinct, that no doctor
finds a roach embedded
in the ear of an infant;
this is the year that the food stamps
of adolescent mothers
are auctioned like gold doubloons,
and no coin is given to buy machetes
for the next bouquet of severed heads
in coffee plantation country.

If the abolition of slave-manacles
began as a vision of hands without manacles,
then this is the year;
if the shutdown of extermination camps
began as imagination of a land
without barbed wire or the crematorium,
then this is the year;
if every rebellion begins with the idea
that conquerors on horseback
are not many-legged gods, that they too drown
if plunged in the river,
then this is the year.

So may every humiliated mouth,
teeth like desecrated headstones,
fill with the angels of bread.

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