Two poems by the Argentinian poet, Jorge Fondebrider

Jorge Fondebrider

Jorge Fondebrider, well-known as one of Argentina’s foremost critics and cultural historians is also – or rather is first and foremost – an eminent poet and translator of poetry, both from French and English. He is the author of four collections – painstakingly spread out at the rate of around one per six years. Fondebrider’s poetry is meditative, wistful and ironic, although it can be savage in its indictments of hypocrisy and pretension.

There is no day of total happiness
– he says in exasperation –
there is always the shadow of the dead,
pigeons on the roof,
the dentist’s chair, an expiry date.
There’s always something
more powerful than the sun, your company.
Look – she says, more seriously –
neither you nor I are going to be here
forever,
so we’d better hug each other
while there is still something to embrace,
while we are here today. He manages to hear her
and suspects that they are strange bodies,
alien as everyone,
even in love,
always.

Translation by Afric McGlinchey

No hay día enteramente feliz –le dice contrariado–.
Siempre está la sombra de los muertos,
palomas en el techo,
el turno del dentista, vencimiento .
Siempre hay algo
que puede más que el sol, tu compañía.
Mirá –le dice seria–
ni vos ni yo vamos a estar
siempre,
así que mejor nos abrazamos
mientras hay algo que abrazar,
mientras estamos hoy. Alcanza a oírlo
y sospecha que son cuerpos extraños,
ajenos como todos
los cuerpos aun en el amor,
siempre.

Jorge Fondebrider (Buenos Aires)

La noche tiene mil ojos

No possible denial between waves
that fold into their dark pages.
Behind the horizon follows the sea,
then constellations and corals,
submerged stars
like the cold foam,
and here the moon
shuffling among the ships without logic or order.
Mountains or palm trees. It does not matter.
It’s only a matter of creating a scenario
in which to plant a self lost in thought,
without logic or order.

Translation by Afric McGlinchey

The night has a thousand eyes

No hay negación posible entre las olas
que doblan sus páginas oscuras.
Detrás del horizonte sigue el mar,
después, constelaciones y corales,
estrellas sumergidas
como las espumas frías,
y más acá la luna
rielando entre los barcos sin lógica ni orden.
Montañas o palmeras. Da lo mismo.
Todo es cuestión de plantar un escenario en que transcurra
un yo cualquiera perdido en pensamientos
sin lógica ni orden.

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