Two New Translations of Poetry by Angye Gaona

We’re very excited to announce our first, original translations of the work of Colombian Surrealist poet Angye Gaona, by our very own Maitê.

Translation is a key part of PEN’s work to promote literature from those whose voices have been stoppered in their own countries. Despite the inevitable changes that translation causes in a work, translating literature into a new language gives the writer a voice within a new population. So, we warmly welcome to the English language, ‘Walk of the Jaguar on Blues‘ (‘Paso del Jaguar Sobre el Blues’) and ‘Once, When the War‘ (‘Una Vez, Cuando la Guerra’) into our Translation section. The works can be found in their original language (Spanish) here. Enjoy!

WALK OF THE JAGUAR ON BLUES

What I carry is sea;
Salty and blue is what I carry.

I blow it and and abyss sounds;
Soundless drum is what I carry.

What I carry comes with me,
From one side to another;
It remains although I change.

Prairie with no well,
Song of sand and thirst.
To the flower, the betrayal.
Traps camp in what I carry.

On the animal’s skin,
Facing fire I arrive and
This drop of salt,
This blue tear,
Come out of me,
Fall off onto the shiny shore.
To the truth,
To the truth fire, what I carry.

*

ONCE, WHEN THE WAR

“Go to dawn or to death”
Eunice Odio

Do not provoke the lion
Who rests in his fields

What could involve you
His slow motion,
His calm truth?

If you can not resist it,
Your slope too much,
And you search for a lion who will serve
His own head on your table
And only one pair of claws,
Yours,

You admit on earth,
Nothing can shelter you from it
And some trap,
Some mechanical eagle you’ll bring
To hunt down the lion.

Reigns the lion
Even though you encage him
And take him far from himself
Roaring in your circus,
Hiding his claws in your factories,
Unleashing the rage of the sun’s beasts
That you treasure in the vaults.

Reigns the lion and reigns the sword,
Only bush to grow wild
In the lands of the lion
That will not be given to you to exterminate
Even if you order it to arise in fire
To your throat

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