On Poetry and Culture Shock

Translation and adaptation 8

She has forgotten patience,
Her voice has a jagged edge.
It will make her bleed.

Se ha olvidado de tener paciencia.
Su voz tiene un borde de sierra.
La hará sangrar.

Si te recuerdo,
mi voz es tan cortante,
que me hace sangrar.

I have often written poems that were very obviously about me, simply changing all pronouns to She or Us. I have noticed in Cornell’s literary magazines that the tendency is the opposite: whatever these poets say, I don’t care if autobiographical or not, is in the first person about 80% of the time. It just doesn’t work for me that way.

So, I wrote the first poem, the one in English, in the spring. No romance there, just talking about trying unsuccessfully to be calmer. To finish the Spanish haiku cycle, I again put the love component into a poem that had nothing to do with it.

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