Poetas chilenos en la FIL 2012


The Country of Planks

Raúl Zurita
Traducción de la lengua inglesa de Daniel Borzutsky


Prison Mocha Island
-Like amputated arms- 


                                And down below the planks
                                of Chile broke falling
                                like amputated arms


                Like a scream    the crowd kept moving through the corridor
                of the sea

                Crossing through the broken barracks   the interminable
                piles of sticks like a long line of rubble pressing between
                the standing waves

               While the Pacific ocean appeared to fold atop the
               snowy mountains and the multitude stuck to that broken
               scaffolding the way the wind sticks as it crosses the mutilated

              When the broken scaffolding of the coast sustained
              for one minute more the immense and dead sky of
              the barracks where all of Chile was falling     And
              even the planks were crying as they felt collapsing on them
              the surf that broke them as if they were the tortured
              and the excited gales of their children embraced them 
              weeping    kissing their amputated arms


Prison Puchuncaví
-The broken palisades-


And cracked the landscapes
spun around at the mercy of
    the waves like broken palisades


And Chile kept folding over   splintering    clearing the
corridor of the sea 

Clearing the path between the waters while the torrents of our shattered
bodies began once more the march    mutilated     biting their sliced up pieces

Pointing with their stumps to the landscapes that flamed just like sheets
in the stakes of that homeland of planks    like the air    like the soft
breeze    like the whirling winds blowing between the leaves

And it was like never having lived the broken stakes the demolished
frames    the destroyed scaffolding    falling    and it was like never having
been the sheets of the landscape folded over the pile of sticks and over
them the mutilated legs     the burnt torsos    the broken necks folding and
folding like the dead country was folding between the scaffolded arms
of the palisades



   Prison Quiriquina is
-The bullet-riddled scaffolding- 


We went down there then; up
ahead all of Chile was leaning
     like a prow sinking into the waves 


And slowly     like a falling wave     the wooden landscapes
began to spin around

Up ahead    bowing just like the heads of oxen beneath
their yokes     trembling       as if conquered by the push
of the waves

Carrying the guilt that left us exhausted seeing the country nailed
down between the walls of the sea       and the waves pounding
one after another against the palisaded coast sounded like the
beating of a heart 

And then    as if the whole horizon was bearing down on them
the scaffolding of Chile appeared outlined for the last time while
its nailed-down archipelagos    its walled-up deserts    the thick planks
of the cordillera     began to give way as if the sea swells jamming into
them were the remorse and the guilt was the long stretch of dead planks
that fell like a bullet-riddled body facing the breakers