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CARLOS SATIZÁBAL—COLOMBIA—


Carlos Satizábal is an Associate Professor at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia and the current director of its MA in Creative Writing. He is a poet, actor, and theater director and considers himself to be an activist for peace in all of his endeavors. His poetry collection, La llama inclinada / The Inclined Flame (Recently translated by Jennifer Rathbun and published in New York by Artepoetica Press, 2018) won the National Prize for Unpublished Poetry in 2012. Additionally, Satizábal has been honored with the City of Bogotá Dramaturgy Award for Ellas y La Muerte: Sueño de tres poetas, the Ibero-American Prize for Dramatic Texts -CELCIT 40 years- for his essay Ensayo del eterno retorno femenino, and the Ibero-American Prize Pensar A Contracorriente for his essay Fragilidad y Lejanía. He works in the Colombian Theater Corporation in the Alternative Festival; and Women in the Scene for Peace Festival, and with the Tramaluna Theater. He has published theater, poetry, chronicles, and essays.



Abuelo sombrerero


Las manos encallecidas, las tejedoras de iraca

lo saludan desde el aire aromado de hierbas.

Para él tejen la fibra más tersa,

para él guardan la obra más bella.


Un ángel de las lomas aún rumora su nombre

en las calles de Aguadas y en las hondonadas

del Patía y del Tambo.


Y en las costas de su valle, entre mareas de espigas

y hojas de caña, con gritos de bienvenida

entre golpes de pacora y cantos de los bogas

lo esperan los negros y las negras,

las totumas llenas de agua cruda de panela

y guarapo refrescado con limón y yerbabuena.


En mañanas de Palmira la abuela también lo aguarda

la cocina perfumada, pilado el maíz y la leña ardiendo,

el revuelo amoroso de los perros en el zaguán

y el canto de los pájaros en el limonero.


La luz azul de sus ojos es la alegría del niño

y la fortaleza del amigo descaecido

y la amargura por la sangre amiga y la matanza.


Siglos acallados de nobleza y de memorias

le signaron generosos con los dones más amables.


Ahora vuelve bajo el sol del alma a pasar su esbelta sombra

con el diente de león y las motas de los balsos

que florecen en los vientos del destino.


Su llegar sereno se adentra en el ardor de la última tarde

tras el vuelo blanco en el árbol de las garzas,

tras los ojos agoreros del perro místico

que lo aguarda para cruzar las aguas.


Y con su voz de visiones saluda en lengua india

a su guía en los caminos de la muerte.



Grandfather Hatter

His calloused hands, weavers of iraca palm

greet him from the herb scented air.

For him they weave the smoothest fibers,

for him they harbor the most beautiful work.


An angel from the hills still whispers his name

on the streets of Aguadas and in the hollows

of Patía and Tambo.


And on the coasts of his valley, between oceans of spikes

and cane leaves, with welcoming cries

amongst the machete blows and the songs of the canoes

the black men and women wait for him,

their gourd cups overflowing with raw sugarcane spring water

and fermented sugarcane with lime and mint.


On Palmira mornings grandmother also waits for him

the kitchen perfumed, the maize stacked and the wood buring,

the loving stir of the dogs in the doorway

and the song birds in the lime tree.


The blue light of his eyes is the boy’s happiness

and the strength of the fallen friend

and the bitterness for friendly blood and killing.


Centuries of nobility and memories silenced

they generously blessed him with the most gentle gifts.


Now he returns under the soul’s sun to cross his slender shadow

with dandelions and remnants of the canoes

that blossom in destiny’s winds.


His serene arrival enters the heat of the last afternoon

beyond the white flight in the herons’ tree,

beyond the mystic dog’s ominous eyes

that awaits him to cross the waters.


And with his voice of visions he greets his guide

to death’s path in an Indian tongue.


Translated by Jennifer Rathbun



Canción de Lady Macbeth


Agua, si limpias el polvo del aire con tu lluvia.

Si sacias la sed del hombre fatigado por el sol.

Si llenas de esplendor al árbol y al jardín.

Si de ti crecen las nubes y su fragor.

Si das a nuestra tierra su color de cielo.

Si todo lo llenas de vida, agua,

¿por qué rehúsas lavar la sangre de mis manos?

¿no oyes esos golpes que claman en las puertas?


Lady Macbeth’s Song


Water, if you clean the dust from the air with your rain.

If you quench the thirst of a man worn out by the sun.

If you fill the trees and gardens with brilliance.

If the clouds and their thunder grow from you.

If you give our earth the color of the sky.

If you grant life to everything, water,

why do you refuse to wash the blood from my hands?

Do you not hear the pounding on the doors?


Translated by Jennifer Rathbun



Maya


Consume su calma

la llama inclinada.

Apaga su nada

la vela del alma.


Mayan


The inclined flame

consumes its calm.

The soul’s candle

extinguishes its void.


Translated by Jennifer Rathbun

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