Flores de volcán de Claribel Alegría [English Translation of Flowers from the Volcano by Alegría]

Flowers from the Volcano [first page of original here, unable to find full poem in Spanish online due to copyright laws, but then again, I didn’t try very hard]

To Roberto and Ana María 

Fourteen volcanoes rising
in my remembered country
in my mythical country
that day to day I invent
fourteen volcanoes of foliage and stone
where strange clouds detain sometimes
the screeching of a lost bird
Who said that my country was green?
it is more red
it is more gray
it is more violent:
Izalco bellows
demanding more lives
The eternal Chac Mool
that collects blood
and those which drink the blood
from Chac Mool
and the gray orphans
and the volcano drooling
all that incandescent lava
and the dead guerrilla
and the thousand betrayed faces
and the children who look on
to tell the story.

They did not leave us even a kingdom
one by one they fell
throughout America
Steel sounded
in the palaces
on the streets
in the forests
and the centaurs sacked the temple
and the gold was taken away
and it continues to move away
in the Yankee’s ships
the gold of the coffee
mixed with blood
mixed with the whip
and the blood.

The priest fled
in the middle of the night
his followers convened
and opened the chest of a guerrilla warrior
to offer to Chac
his steaming heart.

Nobody believes in Izalco
that Tlaloc is dead
despite the televisions
the cycle is approaching, drawing to a close
the silence of the volcano is strange
since it had stopped breathing
Central America trembles
crumbled Managua
sank the earth in Guatemala
the hurricane Fifi
devastated Honduras
they said that the Yankees had redirected it
that it had gone towards Florida
and they redirected it
the gold of the coffee
disembarks in New York
there they roast it
grind it
package it
and gave it a price.

“Seventh of July fatal night dancing
the tango of the capital.”
From the darkened terraces
overlooked the volcano of San Salvador
they climb it from the flanks [le suben por los flancos?]
two-storied mansions
protected by walls
of four meters in height
they climb iron bars and gardens
with roses from England
and dwarf evergreens
and pines from Uruguay
a little bit higher
already in the crater
sunken in the crater
live the people of the neighbourhood
that cultivate their flowers
and send them to the children to sell
The cycle is fast approaching
the Salvadorian flowers
that thrive well in the ash
they grow large and strong
and lustrous

the children of the volcano descend
descend like lava
with their bouquets of flowers
like roots they descend
like rivers
the cycle will soon be approaching
those who live in the two-storied house
protected from thieves by walls
they appear at the balcony
they see that red wave
that descends
and drown their fear in whisky
only the poor children
with flowers from the volcano
with hyacinths
and flowers of Easter [Poinsettias, “pascuas”?]
and mulatas [a type of flower]
but the wave grows
that is going to swallow them
because Chac Mool in turn
continues demanding blood
because the cycle closes
because Tlaloc has not died.


3 comentarios to “Flores de volcán de Claribel Alegría [English Translation of Flowers from the Volcano by Alegría]”

  1. Hello just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let
    you know a few of the images aren’t loading properly. I’m not sure why but I think its a
    linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different web browsers and both show the same results.

  2. Hey! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and
    say I really enjoy reading through your articles. Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that deal with the same topics?
    Thank you so much!


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