jueves, 12 de abril de 2012

Alfredo Cordal. Tongues of Fire/Lenguas de Fuego. Poesía. Editado por Dinah Livingstone. 2011


Por Eduardo Embry

Tongues of Fire: Lenguas de Fuego is the long-overdue collection of poetry by the exiled Chilean poet and playwright Alfredo Cordal. Now a Londoner, Alfredo is a wonderful performer of his work, both in his native Spanish and in English, and has given countless performances of his poetry in London and elsewhere. His poems have appeared in anthologies and Katabasis is delighted to be publishing this first full, bilingual collection of his work.
For Alfredo Cordal is not only a great performer; he is, above all, a wide-ranging, subtle and musical poet, also a learned and well-read poet, who carries his scholarship lightly and with grace. This collection shows some of his quality and range, both of subject-matter and tone. It stretches from Latin American themes, starting from before the Conquest, to poems about life in exile in a wide variety of moods, including two delightful poems about the poet’s dog (when the dog barks, he barks along with her). Other poems reach outwards towards figures such as the poet-forger Chatterton and the murdered García Lorca.
In his end is his beginning and the book ends with ‘Long-Ago Child Dreaming’, in which the protagonist Inca child sounds very much like the poet himself. Alfredo Cordal is a warm poet, who throughout the changes and chances of his fleeting world has kept not only his intelligent ear and eye but his humanity and kindness.

Dejen que los perros ladren

Cada vez que el cartero nos trae la correspondencia,
o alguien toca el timbre equivocadamente,
o un amigo viene a golpear a nuestra puerta
yo dejo a mi perra Sasha ladrar y ladrar en la ventana.

Y yo tomo parte en su existencia y ladro con ella:
¡Guau, Guau!
y incluso aúllo como un lunático hasta quedar afónico
junto a su lomo.

Porque recuerdo que las madres en los barrios pobres
de Chile, Perú, Argentina, Croacia y Kurdistan
dejan ladrar a sus perros sin parar, ya que el ladrido eterno
les devuelve la esperanza, la sensación
de que sus hijos vuelven
después de haber sido llevados a la fuerza de sus casas
hace ya mucho tiempo.  

Let the Dogs Bark

Whenever the postman delivers the letters,
or someone rings the bell by mistake,
or a friend knocks on our door
I always let my dog Sasha bark and bark at the window.

And I take part in her excitement by barking along with her:
even howling like a lunatic until I lose my voice:
beside her.

For I know that mothers in the poor districts
of Chile, Peru, Argentina, Croatia and Kurdistan
let their dogs bark on and on, as that barking
renews their hope, the feeling that their sons are coming home
after they had been snatched from their homes by force
a long time ago.

* Alfredo Cordal: Nació en Santiago, periodista, poeta, dramaturgo y actor chileno, reside en Londres y una colección de su obra ha sido publicada en Inglaterra en el 2011.

Alfredo Cordal, gran poeta del Exilio.
Nos brinda este poema-rap,
en homenaje a la Isla de Pascua ( Rapa Nui )


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