Sunday, April 10, 2005

I was up early this morning scrubbing and mopping, as it was my turn to clean the apartment. While waiting for the mop bucket to fill, I opened my blinds and saw that Raphaella's laundry was already hung up and fluttering away. She'd beaten me yet again.

Oda para planchar

La poesía es blanca:
sale del agua envuelta en gotas,
se arruga y se amontona,
hay que extender la piel de este planeta,

hay que planchar el mar de su blancura
ya van y van las manos,
se alisan las sagradas superficies
y así se hacen las cosas:
las manos hacen cada día el mundo,
se une el fuego al acero,
llegan al lino, el lienzo y el tocuyo
del combate de las lavanderías
y nace de la luz u na paloma:
la castidad regresa de la espuma.

-Pablo Neruda

In Praise of Ironing

Poetry is pure white.
It emerges from water covered with drops,
is wrinkled, all in a heap.
It has to be spread out, the skin of this planet,
has to be ironed out, the sea's whiteness;
and the hands keep moving, moving,
the holy surfaces are smoothed out,
and that is how things are accomplished.
Every day, hands are creating the world,
fire is married to steel,
and canvas, linen, and cotton
come back from the skirmishings of the laundries,
and out of light a dove is born -
pure innocence out of the swirl.

-translation by Alastair Reid,

from Fully Empowered

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