Travesía (6)

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

[Translator’s note: I’m uncomfortably aware that I border on paraphrase and not translation in the last line particularly. The line casts flicker down into the clefts of streets, which sounds glorious to me in English — street clefts! — but I could not pull out anything down into “las hendiduras de calles” or alternatives that didn’t grind the gears in Spanish.]

End of part 3. Be mindful there are 9 parts.

The sailors at work in the rigging or out astride the spars,
Los marineros al trabajo en la jarcia o bien a horcajadas sobre los palos,
The round masts, the swinging motion of the hulls, the slender serpentine pennants,
Los mástiles redondos, el balanceo de los cascos, los delgados banderines serpentinos,
The large and small steamers in motion, the pilots in their pilot-houses,
Los buques de vapor grandes y pequeños en marcha, los timoneles en sus cámaras,
The white wake left by the passage, the quick tremulous whirl of the wheels,
La estela blanca que deja el pasaje, el remolino rápido y trémolo de las ruedas,
The flags of all nations, the falling of them at sunset,
Las banderas de todas las naciones, su caída al ponerse el sol,
The scallop-edged waves in the twilight, the ladled cups, the frolicsome crests and glistening,
Las olas de borde festoneado en el crepúsculo, las copas servidas de cucharón, las crestas juguetonas y relucientes,
The stretch afar growing dimmer and dimmer, the gray walls of the granite storehouses by the docks,
El tramo lejano volviéndose cada vez más tenue, las muros grises de los almacenes graníticos lindando los muelles,
On the river the shadowy group, the big steam-tug closely flank’d on each side by the barges, the hay-boat, the belated lighter,
En el río el grupo sombrío, el gran remolcador de vapor flanqueado de las barcazas, el barco de heno, la gabarra tardía,
On the neighboring shore the fires from the foundry chimneys burning high and glaringly into the night,
En la orilla colindante los fuegos de las chimeneas fundidoras ardiendo altos y deslumbrantes hasta entrada la noche,
Casting their flicker of black contrasted with wild red and yellow light over the tops of houses, and down into the clefts of streets.
Destellando su contraste de negro con el delirio de luz roja y amarilla arrojada sobre los techos, y penetrando los recovecos callejeros.

(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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