Poem (NaPoWriMo Day 23)

As coy as “made simple” or as “no.” Internal
dive into the con. “Simple.” “Better.” “New.”
Videos romp in silence. Damn noise, easily written.
Stay sober. Repair the place. Poor vases.
Vogue. Can sad aches repeat in sad lament?
OK. Another sign: agua. Vivid outer
voices. Core oppressed, atrophied, loaded out senseless.
Phrases come in sequence: Check him. Maze.
Depressed. Chemo. Drugs. Supposed to be simple.
Come, air. Keys. A pair has scored.
Enter us. Dead. Incant our loss. Procure
unlined night. No horizon—oasis.
Coitus—submit like lambs, rams.
O, souls, merge. Numbers rigged as new ones.
Is this coyness that passes? a quandary? or venting
of vice? Is it at last quiet in tame slumber? Come
see as Tivo sees—video to ruin the choice. Not
videos, not visions—pages you wrote.


Day 23’s prompt from NaPoWriMo was to take a poem in a language you don’t know and “translate” it by sound. This is an interesting one. I went through a very literal “sound translation” then a couple more iterations trying to turn it into something that made a modicum of sense. Here’s the original “Poema” from Nuno Júdice.

Rima XXXVIII (translation) – G. A. Bécquer

Sighs are air and go to air!

Tears are water and go to the sea!

Tell me, woman, when love is forgotten,

do you know where it goes?


Los suspiros son aire y van al aire.

Las lágrimas son agua y van al mar.

Dime, mujer, cuando el amor se olvida,

¿sabes tú adónde va?


The original Spanish is the beautiful work of Gustavo Adolpho Bécquer. Any errors in translation are entirely my own.

Rima XXIII (translation) – G. A. Bécquer

For a glance, a world;

for a smile, a heaven;

for a kiss…I do not know

what I would give you for a kiss.


Por una mirada, un mundo;

por una sonrisa, un cielo;

por un beso… ¡Yo no sé

qué te diera por un beso!


The original Spanish is from Gustavo Adolpho Bécquer. As always, any errors in the English translation are entirely my own.

Rima XXI (translation) – G. A. Bécquer

What is poetry? you ask

as your blue eyes stare into mine.

What is poetry?  And you ask this of me?

Poetry…is you.


¿Qué es poesía?, dices, mientras clavas

en mi pupila tu pupila azul,

¡Qué es poesía! ¿Y tú me lo preguntas?

Poesía… eres tú.


The original lovely words are from Gustavo Adolpho Bécquer. Any errors in translation are entirely my own…

Rima XVII (translation) – G. A. Bécquer

Today the earth and the heavens smile at me;

today the sun reaches the depths of my soul;

today I have seen her… I have seen her and she has looked on me…

Today I believe in God!


Hoy la tierra y los cielos me sonríen,

hoy llega al fondo de mi alma el sol,

hoy la he visto… La he visto y me ha mirado…

¡Hoy creo en Dios!


I thought it might be fun to share translations on occasion. Many years ago when I was studying Spanish, I translated a few of Gustavo Adolpho Bécquer’s Rimas (Rhymes, or Poems). Beautiful lyrical language.