and after sessions luxurious and tender

Language: Spanish
Poet: Idea Vilariño
Translator: Jesse Lee Kercheval

 
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and after sessions luxurious and tender

Three poems by Idea Vilariño translated by Jesse Lee Kercheval

 
Idea Vilariño (18 August 1920–28 April 2009) was an Uruguayan poet, essayist and literary critic and a well-known member of the literary and intellectual group, the Generation of ’45, that included Juan Carlos Onetti, Mario Benedetti, Amanda Berenguer, and, as an ex-officio, Argentinian member, Jorge Luis Borges. She was a high school literature teacher from 1952 until the military dictatorship in 1973. After the restoration of democracy until her death, she was a professor of literature at the la Universidad de la República in Montevideo. She was the author of twelve books of poetry; among the best known are Nocturnos (1955) and Poemas de amor (1957). Her collected poems Poesía completa was published in Uruguay in 2009. She was also the author of five books of essays and literary criticism.
Jesse Lee Kercheval’s poetry collections include Dog Angel (University of Pittsburgh Press), World as Dictionary (Carnegie Mellon University Press) and a Spanish language poetry collection Extranjera (Yaugarú) published in Uruguay. Her translations of the Uruguayan poet Circe Maia have appeared in such magazines as The New Yorker, the Boston Review, and American Poetry Review. The University of Pittsburgh Press published Invisible Bridge/ El puente invisible: Selected Poems of Circe Maia in August, 2015. She is also the editor of América invertida: An Anthology of Emerging Uruguayan Poets which is forthcoming from the University of New Mexico Press. She is the Zona Gale Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she is also Director of the Program in Creative Writing.

Tango

Yo vengo por la calle
compro pan
entro en casa
hay niebla y vengo triste
tu amor es un ausencia
tu amor digo mi amor
amor que quedó en nada.
Subo las escaleras
repasando esa historia
y me quedo en lo oscuro
tras de la puerta
amarga
pensando no pensando
en tu amor
en la vida
en la soledad que es
única certidumbre.

Tango

I come down the street
buy bread
enter the house
there is fog and I arrive home sad
your love is an absence
your love, I say, my love
love that came to nothing.
I climb the stairs
reviewing this history
and I stop in the dark
behind the bitter
door
thinking not thinking
on your love
on life
in the solitude that is
the only certainty.

Después

Es otra
acaso es otra
la que va recobrando
su pelo su vestido su manera
la que ahora retoma
su vertical su peso
y después de sesiones lujuriosas y tiernas
se sale por la puerta entera y pura
y no busca saber
no necesita
y no quiere saber
nada de nadie.

Later

There is another
perhaps there is another
the one going to recover
her hair her clothes her manners
the one that now measures again
her height her weight
and after sessions luxurious and tender
she goes out the door whole and pure
and does not seek to know
does not need or want to know
anything about anyone.

Me pregunto

No pensarás a veces
no volverás los ojos
a aquel estante al libro
que volví a su lugar
a aquella mesa de café en Malvín
ya tarde
al aire libre
conmigo y los muchachos
o tal vez al café pajarería
de donde huíy dejé que me alcanzaras.
No te acordás
supongo
de mi puerta entreabriéndose
a las dos de la tarde
y tú con un sombrero
que por fin regresabas.
No te acordás
seguro
no sabés que una noche
te esperé y fue una noche
de amor
y no viniste
y fui feliz vagando por la casa
escuchando la escalera
esperándote.
Hubo también las noches
—torpe de mí
te odiaba—
en que llamabas
—dígame
cómo ordeno esta serie
es mejor esto o esto—
y esa otra en el suelo
con luna y mis retratos
tirados por ahí que todavía
tienen manchas de vino.
O la noche terrible en que tú estabas
llorando en el teléfono
nunca lloré decías
y yo mi amor mi amor
—te había echado
había muerto
y yo mi amor
mi amor
y yo estaba con otro. 

I Wonder

Will you not think sometimes
will you not return your eyes
to that shelf to the book
that I returned to its place
to that table in the bar in Malvin
already late
outdoors
with me and the boys
or perhaps at the café like a bird cage
from which I fled and left you to catch up with me.
You don’t remember
I suppose
my door half-open
at two in the afternoon
and you with a hat
finally returning.
You don’t remember
I am sure
don’t know that one night
I waited for you and it was a night
of love
and you did not come
and I was happy wandering in the house
listening at the stairs
waiting for you.
There were also nights—
clumsy with my
hating you—
when you called
Tell me
how to order this sequence
is it better like this or like this
and this other one on the floor
with the moon and my portraits
thrown around that still
have wine stains.
Or the terrible night when you were
crying on the telephone
I never cried you were saying
and me my love my love—
I had thrown you out
I was dead
and me my love
my love
I was with another.