jueves, 19 de junio de 2008

w. h. auden: the shield of achilles

W. H. AUDEN (1907-1973)

The Shield of Achilles

She looked over his shoulder
For vines and olive trees,
Marble well-governed cities
And ships upon untamed seas,
But there on the shining metal
His hands had put instead
An artificial wilderness
And a sky like lead.

A plain without a feature, bare and brown,
No blade of grass, no sign of neighborhood,
Nothing to eat and nowhere to sit down,
Yet, congregated on its blankness, stood
An unintelligible multitude,
A million eyes, a million boots in line,
Without expression, waiting for a sign.

Out of the air a voice without a face
Proved by statistics that some cause was just
In tones as dry and level as the place:
No one was cheered and nothing was discussed;
Column by column in a cloud of dust
They marched away enduring a belief
Whose logic brought them, somewhere else, to grief.

She looked over his shoulder
For ritual pieties,
White flower-garlanded heifers,
Libation and sacrifice,
But there on the shining metal
Where the altar should have been,
She saw by his flickering forge-light
Quite another scene.

Barbed wire enclosed an arbitrary spot
Where bored officials lounged (one cracked a joke)
And sentries sweated for the day was hot:
A crowd of ordinary decent folk
Watched from without and neither moved nor spoke
As three pale figures were led forth and bound
To three posts driven upright in the ground.

The mass and majesty of this world, all
That carries weight and always weighs the same
Lay in the hands of others; they were small
And could not hope for help and no help came:
What their foes like to do was done, their shame
Was all the worst could wish; they lost their pride
And died as men before their bodies died.

She looked over his shoulder
For athletes at their games,
Men and women in a dance
Moving their sweet limbs
Quick, quick, to music,
But there on the shining shield
His hands had set no dancing-floor
But a weed-choked field.

A ragged urchin, aimless and alone,
Loitered about that vacancy; a bird
Flew up to safety from his well-aimed stone:
That girls are raped, that two boys knife a third,
Were axioms to him, who'd never heard
Of any world where promises were kept,
Or one could weep because another wept.

The thin-lipped armorer,
Hephaestos, hobbled away,
Thetis of the shining breasts
Cried out in dismay
At what the god had wrought
To please her son, the strong
Iron-hearted man-slaying Achilles
Who would not live long.

6 comentarios:

Sylvia Rojas Pastene dijo...

Estimado Kato, busqué una traducción, seguramente no buena, pero que junto a mi esfuerzo, y comparando el texto original, pude valorar la belleza del poema, es como ser ciego, si no sabemos el idioma, lamento mi spaninglish, pero me quedo con varios versos.

"Y murieron en tanto hombres antes que sus cuerpos murieran."

"Matador de hombres, Aquiles, el de corazón de hierro
Quien no habría de vivir mucho más."

Te dejo el link, de la traduccion si tienes tiempo, me avisas los errores.

Un abrazo sin talón.

Sylvia Rojas Pastene dijo...

So sorry je je je, no alcanzo a salir todo el link, lo intentaré aquí


Ahora espero que si.

Anónimo dijo...

Optè por poner el poema en Inglès porque fue una apuesta, una apuesta de fidelidad sobre todo al tono y ritmo del autor, es decir, al poema original. Una apuesta, además, dirigida al lector: me dije que, si alguien està interesado, y no sabe inglés, verà la forma de entender, traducir, buscarà, hallará. Y me alegra saber que no me equivoqué. Tu actitud, tu interès es exactamente lo que esperaba, ansiaba.
Mi abrazo grande.

Anónimo dijo...

Sobre la traducción, bueno, me propongo por estos días intentar mi propia traducción, no sólo de éste, sino de otros poemas de Auden, como asimismo otros poetas y poemas.
"And died as men before their bodies died." Bueno, sí, ASÍ LO DIRÍA YO:"y murieron como hombres antes que sus cuerpos murieran".
"Iron-hearted man-slaying Achilles/
Who would not live long." ASÍ LO DIRÍA YO:"Corazón de hierro asesino de hombre Aquiles/ quien no viviría mucho tiempo"
Esa traducción que leíste aunque "correcta" es medio rebuscada. La escritura de Auden no es así de rebuscada. Pero es correcta y sirve para acercarse a Auden. Como te digo, quiero emprender una serie de traducciones, ya veremos si me da el tiempo. Porque las ganas están.

Anónimo dijo...

Dale a esas traducciones, regálate, regálanos con esas posibles traducciones. Claro, cierto es que, además, todos tendríamos que saber inglés, y ruso, y alemán, y bantú y mapudúngun...
Un abrazo

Anónimo dijo...

Jeje, qué gusto leerlo, Don B.
(Ya estás en casa??)