after César Vallejo
I will dine in Paris, on a rainy night,
on some night I can already remember.
I will dine in Paris—without reservations—
perhaps on a Thursday, as today is, in spring.
It will be a Thursday, because today, Thursday, sitting down
at this cafe, I have an empty belly,
and today like never before I have found myself
with all the menu in front of me, to choose.
Karin Wiberg is full. Everyone fed her
though she writes no reviews to help them;
they fed her bread with butter and also wine
with her meal. These are the witnesses:
the Thursdays and the rain,
the menu, the order, the belly…
Today’s prompt from NaPoWriMo.net was to re-write a famous poem. The suggested poem was “Black Stone on a White Stone” by César Vallejo. Here are two translations, one by Robert Bly, one by Rebecca Seiferle. (I have to admit I feel a slight bit guilty taking such a light-hearted approach to this exercise, as the original is quite dark.)