Tr by Hardie St Martin
(Geneva, Paris, Jul 1984;
Paris, Nov 1987)
I live with an obscure animal.
At night he eats anything I do during the day.
During the day he eats anything I do at night.
The only thing he doesn’t eat is my memory. He gets a rise
From pointing out my smallest errors and fears.
I don’t let him sleep.
I am his obscure animal.
YOUNG VENETIAN LADY’S DURER PORTRAIT REVISITED
I came back to look at the young Venetian woman who taught me the solace of love.
She’s immortal and hurts me in a gentle way. She has withdrawn to an air she’ll never
open to me. Ages ago I had a dream on her lips. It is intact. She left it there and there it
remains, closed to me, whose dream it is.
Hardie St. Martin In his long and distinguished career as an editor and translator, he translated work by Pablo Neruda, Vincente Aleixandre, Roque Dalton, Enrique Lihn, Nicanor Parra, and Luisa Valenzuela, among others. He was the recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim fellowship in 1965, and a P.E.N. International Translation Award and an ALTA award for excellence in editing and translation. His anthology of Spanish poetry, Roots and Wings, (Harper & Row) is still considered a literary landmark. Hardie died on Sept. 3rd, 2007. These poems are from an unpublished manuscript of St Martin’s translations in the Summer 2009 tribute issue of the Cafe Review, edited by Paul Pines.