Saturday, September 3, 2011

Aimless Reading: The O's, Part 5.19 (Charles Olson)

Olson, Charles
Los poems de Maximus
Tr. Ricardo Cázares

Purchased from the translator at the Charles Olson Centennial celebration in Gloucester last year.

I drove up there to take part in a reading that took part in a church in downtown Gloucester. About thirty different poets read, each reading one poem of their own and one by Olson. I chose to read Olson's "Letter to Melville 1951." Lots of people did great readings, but I don't think anyone expected to experience the reading given by Ricardo Cázares, a Mexico City-based poet, who translated this volume of the Maximus Poems.

He walked up to the pulpit and read a whole section of the poem in Spanish to a mesmerized audience. He had a small number of copies of this and a selected Creeley he had translated. Iamanaged to get this one before they were all sold out. I didn't get the Creeley, sadly.

A handful of people commented that the poem actually sounds a lot better in Spanish than it does in English. I am not sure I agree, but they sure do sound good in Spanish. I'll say that.

from Los poemas de Maximus

Ya en el mar, entre islas ocultas en la sangre
joyas & milagros, yo, Maximus
un metal caliente salido del agua que hierve, te diga
lo que es una lanza, quien obedece las figuras de
la presente danza

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