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Segovia: like the first day

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Tomás Segovia

1927-2011. Born in Spain and exiled during the civil war to Mexico. 

I am taken with Segovia’s poem at the moment and wanted to share it with you. A translated poem will never be faithful to the original; the nature of poetry won’t allow it. So I find my English version is terribly lacking, but here they are!

Como el primer día

Como el primer día
de mi llegada aquí,
a veces la memoria se me pierde
y me encuentro yacente por el suelo
sin hueso ni contorno
ignorando qué vida de qué mundo
de qué recuerdo es ésta.

-Pero tú no me olvides,
dulce tierra sin rostro
cuyo recuerdo pierdo a cada instante,
cuyo sabor me escapa,
cuyos ojos de amor no reconozco.

Oh, no me olvides, me memoria es viento;
me disuelvo en la noche día a día
si tú no guardas algo
de este turbio latido
que derramado apenas humedece
tu vasta frente donde la memoria
es oscura y sin fin como un olvido.

Like the First Day

Like the first day
Of my arrival here,
Sometimes my memory is lost
And I find myself lying on the ground
With no bones, no outline
Not knowing which life, from which world,
From which memory this is.

But you don’t forget me,
sweet, faceless earth
whose memory I lose every moment,
whose taste eludes me
whose loving eyes I don’t recognise.

Oh, don’t forget me, my memory is like wind;
I dissolve night after night
If you don’t keep something
Of this murky pulse
Which, when shed, scarcely dampens
Your vast forehead where memory
As as dark and endless as oblivion.

Do you speak Spanish? If so, any ideas? If not, go learn it and get back to me, please!


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