Two excerpts from the poetic sequence “Hearses Loaded With Watermelon”
By Marosa di Giorgio
Translated by Sarah María Medina
000000I want to enter a garden of velvet-like roses, round, oval, dark, red, like those I witnessed as a child, with perfume of wine, grape, and apple, that I don’t know why, they called Estrellas. From France. I want to lie down, there, hidden. And they´ll pass me, nearby, almost touching me while saying, “Come!”
“Come!” While, shouting, “She could be hidden!” “She could be sleeping!”
000000And the smoke will come from the house, the scent of rice with nard, also pudding. A
contrapuntal of barn owls and violins.
000000And, at midnight, I´ll appear with a strange smile in the middle of the cries, the lavender, the
white cake, saying: —You all watched me, yet you didn’t see me.
000000Someone came galloping with a dead lamb. Through the valley, through the narrow roads of the fields.
With the dead child, the head swaying.
000000There were many stars and blue bells that I counted as my own, in the grassland, many flowers,
and small vermin.
000000Many of us sinned in the grasses; others hunted in the grasses, they put out the bait, and caught
rats, small hares, which they brought to their homes, half dead, half alive.
000000Everyone wanted to couple up, to eat, to kill.
000000But it was like a dream that began and vanished.
From The Moth
000000Quiero entrar a un jardín de rosas, oscuras, rojas, redondas, ovales, aterciopeladas, como las que vi de
chica, con perfume a vino, a uva y a manzana, que, no sé por qué, llamaban Estrellas. De Francia.
Sentarme, allí, oculta. Y que pasen, cerca, casi rozándome, mientras, dicen, ¨¡Ven!¨ ¨¡Ven!¨, mientras,
gritan, ¨Estará escondida!¨ ¨Estará dormida!¨
000000Y llega humo de la casa, un olor a arroz con nardo, y a budines, un contrapunto de lechuzas y violines.
000000Y, a la medianoche, aparecer con una sonrisa extraña, en medio de los llantos, la alhucema, el pastel blanco, diciendo: —Ustedes me miraban y no me veían.
000000Vino galopando con un cordero muerto. Por el valle, por las callecitas de los campos. Con aquel
niño muerto, que bamboleaba la cabeza.
000000Había tantas estrellas y las flores azules del mío mío, en el pastizal, tantas flores y bichos
000000Muchos pecaban en el pasto; otros pescaban en el pasto, ponían los anzuelos, y cazaban ratas,
pequeñas liebres, que llevaban a sus casas, casi muertas, casi vivas.
000000Todos querían acoplarse, comer, matar.
000000Pero era como un sueño que empezaba y se desvanecía.
© “La falena”, en Los papeles salvajes, de Marosa di Giorgio.
Buenos Aires: Adriana Hidalgo editora, 2008, 2013, 2018, 2021.
Marosa di Giorgio is the prize-winning Uruguayan author of over thirty books, published between 1954 and 2003, and then posthumously, including five books translated into English, variously by Jeannine Marie Pitas, Peter Boyle, and Adam Gianelli. Marosa di Giorgio was born in Salto, Uruguay in 1932 to parents of Basque and Italian descent, and she grew up on in the countryside where much of the natural world in her poems is derived. @Marosa_Giorgio
Sarah María Medina’s writing has been published in Poetry Magazine, Prelude, Black Warrior Review, Poetry NW, and elsewhere. She’s the recipient of an ARTIST UP Grant LAB, a Jack Straw Writer fellowship, a Caldera AIR 2018, and the Black Warrior Review Poetry Prize. She’s from the American Northwest, currently pursuing her PhD in Comparative Literature, the International Writers Track at Washington University in Saint Louis, Missouri. Photo by Cisco Dietz. @LaCaona
Poesía en acción is an Action Books blog feature for Latin American and Spanish poetry in translation and the translator micro-interview series. It was created by Katherine M. Hedeen and is currently curated and edited by Olivia Lott with web editing by Paul Cunningham.