"Trees are poems the earth writes upon the sky,
We fell them down and turn them into paper,
That we may record our emptiness."
Khalil Gibran

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Te Amo

Frederic Remington (1909)
Fair Use


When I told you I could not understand it,
you took to writing me long letters in Spanish
on unlined paper in black ink
and I was in two minds whether I should
look up every word
or accept them
as autobiographical notes
in an ancient tongue.

Ven a mí, búho de la noche
Soy el lobo que ronda las llanuras

En la oscuridad antes del amanecer
Susurraré tu nombre

More than seductive
I knew you had something to say to me
but to put it in words I recognized
would be the ruin
of innocence or an admission
that you would always
return to me.
All I ever needed was to know
the inexplicable incantations
had been written by your own hand.

Sígueme a través de la oscuridad, mi pájaro
Nunca cuestiones el camino

Sabrás que te amo
Cuando mis labios posean tu nombre


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Fireblossom Friday has poets 'Looking Behind the Obvious'.


30 comments:

  1. the ruin of innocence
    or an admission that you
    would always return to me

    There seems a reluctance to return back to the previous state of relationship for some reasons.

    Hank

    ReplyDelete
  2. God, Kerry. I'm melted into a puddle of kissing-your-toes over this.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This makes me long to know the message hidden in the Spanish lines. A very clever response to the prompt.........

    ReplyDelete
  4. Such a cool and beautiful poem--I can get the Spanish more or less--(am impressed by your good grammar!) --The poem reminds me of exile--how some find it easier to be themselves when they are not in their own element as it were--there is a kind of fear there, but also a vulnerability and truthfulness--really interesting work, Kerry. Thanks.k.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank Google translate for my grammar..It's all Spanish to me.

      Delete
  5. The heart versus the mind. Love is a feeling, needing no translation. Well composed

    ReplyDelete
  6. Love is love in any language. Beautiful, Kerry!

    ReplyDelete
  7. At first I wanted to look up the Spanish...but that would have taken away from the beauty of your poem..how much of not understanding is love and trust..lovely.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Ah! Guilty as charged, I did check out the meaning of the Spanish verse.
    This pairing is so beautiful and wondrous. The language constraints and the charm of understanding the sentiment, if not the words, make it worthwhile.
    -HA

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am equally delighted by those who do and don't look up the meaning.

      Delete
  9. I needed to know, and I'm so glad I did. Music and mystery are lovely, but meaning matters to me, and these meanings are incredibly thrilling. I love your poem, and the whole conceit, but I am not your protagonist; in her place I simply could not have borne not to know. And even as the reader of the poem, you see.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I'm literally swooning right now.... sigh...❤️

    ReplyDelete
  11. Like Thotpurge, I refrained from looking up the meaning. It's a marvelous poem without that. Myself, I've often found the slightly exotic to be attractive. Besides, Neruda and Lorca are two of my very favorite poets--along with that little New Englander.

    ReplyDelete
  12. ps--I do know a small amount of Spanish from having lived in south Texas for a few years, and got the gist.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I really love that although the speaker says she didn't look up the words, the tone stays constant from language to language. They sing to each other, and dance knowing the other's steps.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for offering corrections to the grammar, Magaly.

      Delete
  14. I am pleased I only needed to look up two words (amanecer and llanuras).

    Even without looking up "dawn" and "plains", this was just so exquisitely passionate. I loved it.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Perhaps, it is the feeling that if the words are translated they will lose some of the magic. You only need feel the words not necessary know the exact meaning.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I completely agree with Rosemary.....I absolutely HAD TO look it up and if those words had been written to me, I could not imagine NOT translating them!! But seeing them here, in the context of this poem, as is, the magic and the mystery is somehow heightened to have them depicted this way, to imagine the 'not knowing' of the love being expressed. Such a creative idea, Kerry, and you executed it so beautifully :-)

    ReplyDelete
  17. so often we don't know the meaning of words in our so-called native tongue - but birdsong, and love song - need no translation.

    reminds me of the best of Pound. ~

    ReplyDelete
  18. What is more mysterious, or romantic, than love spoken in the most beautiful of languages--whether Spanish or poetry or even the language of a look.

    ReplyDelete
  19. There is something so seductive in the way these words feel in my mouth as I say them--sometimes the meaning can be all in the feel--beautiful write!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I have not looked up the Spanish, but just the way you write about it make me see a meaning,

    ReplyDelete
  21. Beautifully romantic! I can feel this one, Kerry.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Never question love just enjoy while it lasts. What a great poem this is.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Of course I looked up every word (or a general google translation)--as you teased to do--and then recognized the link to Lorca. A great companion for these haunting symbols and reality--I'm glad I looked it up. And now that I know it is not an evil caress, I will forget the meaning and allow the foreign tongue to murmur and seduce me. Makes me wonder if I would/should have hired a detective before accepting the sincerity of love, if I have been raised on too many tales like "Red Riding Hood" or, indeed, the awful sex trade.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you see a link to Lorca, it was not my intention to do so. How strange that poetry forges these threads.

      Delete
  24. There is something very intimate about handwriting. I find myself imagining that the Spanish words are romantic. They sound like lyrics.

    ReplyDelete

Let's talk about it.