Travesía (5)

Versión castellana del poema “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry” (1856) de Walt Whitman
English text at
Spanish Interpretation by JMN

[Translator’s note: Though officially Spanish has imported the word “ferry,” I haven’t been happy with using it in the title of my rendering of Whitman’s poem. Conjoined with “Brooklyn” it just jangles with too much English. So I’ve shortened my title to “Travesía.” It’s pure, and I like the fluid semantic range of a “crossing” or “crossing over,” with its latency of skepticism for narrowly prescriptive boundaries.]

A middle third, give or take, of part 3, follows. Don’t forget, there are 9 parts.

I too many and many a time cross’d the river of old,
Yo también tantísimas veces atravesé el río antaño,
Watched the Twelfth-month sea-gulls, saw them high in the air floating with motionless wings, oscillating their bodies,
Observé las gaviotas del duodécimo mes, las vi flotar en el aire a gran altura con alas inmóviles, oscilando sus cuerpos,
Saw how the glistening yellow lit up parts of their bodies and left the rest in strong shadow,
Vi cómo el amarillo reluciente iluminaba porciones de sus cuerpos, dejando lo demás en sombra fuerte,
Saw the slow-wheeling circles and the gradual edging toward the south,
Vi los círculos que giraban lentamente y el avance poco a poco hacia el sur,
Saw the reflection of the summer sky in the water,
Vi el reflejo del cielo estival en el agua,
Had my eyes dazzled by the shimmering track of beams,
Quedé con ojos deslumbrados por el sendero encendido de rayos,
Look’d at the fine centrifugal spokes of light round the shape of my head in the sunlit water,
Observé los finos radios centrífugos de luz que rodeaban la imagen de mi cabeza en el agua soleada,
Look’d on the haze on the hills southward and south-westward,
Observé la neblina sobre las colinas hacia el sur y el suroeste,
Look’d on the vapor as it flew in fleeces tinged with violet,
Observé el vapor mientras volaba en hilos lanudos teñidos de violeta,
Look’d toward the lower bay to notice the vessels arriving,
Miré hacia la bahía inferior para fijarme en las embarcaciones que llegaban,
Saw their approach, saw aboard those that were near me,
Las vi acercarse, vi abordo a aquéllos que estaban cerca de mí,
Saw the white sails of schooners and sloops, saw the ships at anchor,
Vi las velas blancas de goletas y balandras, vi los barcos anclados,…

[… a continuarse]

(c) 2021 JMN. All rights reserved

About JMN

I live in Texas and devote much of my time to easel painting on an amateur basis. I stream a lot of music, mostly jazz, throughout the day. I like to read and memorize poetry.
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