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Jul 10, 2007

This is a loose translation I did of a poem by Sor Juana Inez de la Cruz. Feb/2000

"A Estos Penascos Rudos ...."

These large, unpolished rocks,
voiceless witnesses to the pain I feel,
I can trust them, they have no tongue.
My regrets, my anguish,
cannot touch what does not feel.

I want to count my misfortunes,
they are the reason that I die,
my regrets are many,
and relief comes in the counting,
one falls with the other,
the matador's courage,
the dogal to the neck.

I don't envy somebody else's good luck,
this eternal misfortune,
that rages the bullfight within my breast,
soothes my pain,
something He can envy highly;
this miserable state of His that I suffer
as though I envy someone else's bad luck.

I don't ponder the chance of glories,
what I think of is far away,
like sweet memories of my past happiness,
how ignorant they were of coming disillusionment,
Ignorance felt good, and I know that was my weakness.

To be with you in your sphere
happiness, something I felt
but long ago, now outside of me,
only seen by mortals that must endure,
that which distances your misfortunes from mine.

Who was so happy,that he complained of an unworthy offense!
Who would cry in scorn!
Who would pretend the impossible!
Who would of absence or of change almost lose sight of hope!
Who if in someone else's arms were to see his soulmate, would with rabid pain tear off piece by piece his jealous heart!
My anxieties were the lesser of evils than this insufferable hell of His jealousies.

All these misfortunes carry either hope or consolation,
and they are all the same,
they seek or give life to vengence,
and only hope and vengence alleviate my cruel misfortune,
relief and complaint.

Because, Who but lives in the heavens,
that robbed me of my sweet, darling love,
If only my distress could complain,
sacreligiously, harshly?
And he with the deaf, holy ears,
would heed my blasphemes, my complaints.

Fabio was neither rude, ungrateful, nor treacherous;
our hearts were true as lovers:
noone was more loyal, more constant, more wise in his actions,
more finer in business.

Only the skies, jealous,
took my husband from me;
Sparing hard, ith severe scowl,
He gave birth to such misfortune.
Oh severe skies! Oh sad luck that brings so many deaths with one!
Oh sweet darling, husband!
For what ends did I see you? Why did I love you?
Why did your love bring me wretched happiness?
Oh luck, woman and pleasing,
whose bitter ends he came to know!

What life is this of mine
that rebels to endure such pain?
Why, foolish, does he persist in the bitter fountains of my tears, lessened, he will never be extinguished if he cannot in my fire be consumed.


Mary said...

Beautiful translation of this, it is so hard to translate the real meaning and keep it poetry from Spanish to English. Nice choice to translate, too!

Gallery Juana said...

Thanks Mary! That means a lot coming from you.

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