Armando Romero (Colombia, 1944) is a poet, novelist, and scholar who was active in the avant-garde movement El nadaismo during the 1960s in Colombia. He has traveled extensively throughout Latin America, Europe, and Asia. He earned his PhD. in Pittsburgh. Currently, he lives in Ohio, where he is a Charles Phelps Taft Professor emeritus in Latin American literature at the University of Cincinnati. He has published numerous books and his works have been translated into several languages. In 2008, the University of Athens granted him a Doctor Honoris Causa.
¿Que vine a desentrañar en estas islas, en este color indescifrable? ¿Vine quizás por asomo o permanencia? Con mi lengua entrometida he chapuceado sílabas entre puertos y calles, por caminos y hoteles, por montes y monasterios. He traído en letras el golpear del pájaro en su vuelo como viento, he hallado en la fugacidad
de los peces una palabra aguda, otra grave, sin aliento. Mi lengua entrometida se enreda en sus imágenes, se copia como un espejo. Busca decir lo que de mar hay en su silencio. Ya quisiera ella poder traer a la página ese ruido de pájaros, ese ruido de peces, ese ruido de rocas, y de cuerpos.
What did I come to figure out in these islands in this indecipherable color? Did I come perhaps just to look around or to stay? With my meddling tongue I have garbled syllables in ports and streets, down pathways and in hotels, in mountains and monasteries. In letters, I have brought the flapping of the bird in his air-like flight, in the fugacity of fishes, I have found a sharp word, another quiet, breathless. My meddling tongue entangles itself with images, it copies itself like a mirror. It longs to say what the silence holds of the sea. How my tongue would love to be able to put down on the page that noise of birds, that noise of fish, that noise of rocks, and of bodies.
Translated by Matthew Fehskens