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Measure

Paula Jiménez

Traduit par : Madeleine Stratford

Texte original: "La mesura "


œuvre de Runkelstein

I
Under a starlit sky highlighting
in the dark the features of your face,
chirping crickets
and birds accompany the heartbeat,
the branches beating imperceptibly.
This is the gentle wind
wrapped between us,
blowing at a gallop, harmonious,
steady, like the horse we hear
on the nearby road.
It must be summer, or beginning of autumn,
a season’s beaming rested face.
The damp in our clothes
cannot make us shiver, that is,
fear the elements.
No, under the string of stars
neither of us speaks of her fear;
this is paradise, and life promises us
that it at least goes on. The dew in the pasture
diffuses a true, refreshing smell,
and the air insists, devoid of dissonance.

 

II
The streets are lined with winter trees,
and the curve of Díaz Velez
is streaming with dead leaves,
thinning until invisible between the cars.
Steam is rising on the foggy afternoon,
blending in one breath
both scent and stench.
All my life
awaiting this city which is now
being crushed by a dense
but beautiful cloud,
like the relief I feel when I repeat myself
and forget about a personal and domestic
act greater than a country.

III
From the shore I see
the widest sea you can picture,
a perfect never-ending circle.
I see the sun coming up, and
dropping onto its other face.
Light makes its way and what is small
grows excessively big, swallowing it all,
but light gives life to the most trivial things,
like the small lamp in this room
making the watch on the table
shine restlessly, the silver wristband,
the crystal refracted on the wall.
You should take it with you,
do something while you can,
while the watch and I, both sleepless,
are feeling lost
as in immensity.

coda
The wind goes to the water and the day towards night,
and all things that face each other thus follow each other
mutually,
without ever meeting.

Paula Jiménez

Paula Jiménez (Argentina, 1969) is a writer and psychologist. Her most recent poetry books include la mala vida (Bajo la luna, 2007), Ni jota (abeja reina, 2008), Espacios naturales (Bajo la luna, 2009), and La vuelta, soon to be published by Simulcoop. Her first book of short fiction, Pollera pantalón/cuentos de género, came out in 2012 (La mariposa y la iguana). She received several prestigious awards for her poetry, such as the National Literary Prize Tres de Febrero (1st place, 2006; 2nd place, 2008), the Hernández de Plata Prize (2006), the Hegoak Prize (Basque Country) for best LGBT short story (2nd place, 2007), as well as the National Fund of Arts Prize (1st place, 2008).

Madeleine Stratford
Madeleine Stratford is a professor of Translation at the Université du Québec en Outaouais. She has published literary translations in several anthologies and literary journals. Her first poetry book, Des mots dans la neige, was published in 2009. Her French translation of Ce qu’il faut dire a des fissures / Lo que hay que decir tiene grietas by Uruguayan poet Tatiana Oroño was published in June 2012 by L’Oreille du Loup in Paris.