Now this something no more is of this world
rose fountain perfume plum or glass
Now that it no longer is
you remembered this woodland
so sad in its birdless dawn
or how so early
you fled a damp pipe dance sucking on the earth.
Now I no longer see you
today I would much like to see you
pale froth of blood in the world.
How you will be a soul in another air
how you will be white or deeplier
How you will be now on the dark riverbank
where the fields
run eternally before your eyes!
How you will be there without trickling streams
no Padrón, Adina or Lestrove
no sorrowful widows around low walls
no bushy green and with no dove of green
no headboards on the cleared bed!
How you will be there
without that nail you had here
harshly nailed into your heart!
Now that you already have death
doing vigil for your sad breasts
now that you already have death
with that sobbing morning choice of yours
what a delicate figure you will make in the other world
Now that you have
no shadow no desires no voice
and the grass grows in your new little boots.
This is the second of my homage pieces to Rosalía de Castro. Álvaro Cunqueiro was a prolific writer of novels, essays and poetry. His statue presides over the main square of Mondoñedo and, fittingly, stares into space: he was a fabulist; his stories and poetry twist away from the real.
I have seen him interviewed on the television. He is a charming man of considerable learning and culture: a reader, an asethete. He went to Madrid to work as a journalist but in the early days of the Franco regime returned to Galicia where he edited the Faro de Vigo and published many books. He acquired the status of celebrity intellectual.
I can’t read Cunqueiro without hearing his voice: plummy, proud and perhaps a little defensive, weaving his words around ideas and often twisting ideas to his words. There is one word in this poem that I cannot find the meaning of: porfondal. I can hear him say it. It is appropriate to his voice. Fondal could mean that end of a field, but that does not make sense to me. The fondo is the depths of something. But porfondal? I’ve looked at the University of Vigo’s dictionary of dictionaries online and it does not help me and I have come to the conclusion that it is an invention of the poet and translated máis porfondal as deeplier, echoing what I take to be the poet’s invention in my translation.
The lack of punctuation is a direct translation of the poet’s lack of punctuation,