Travesía (11)

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

[Translator’s note: The whole of part 7 follows. Of the poem’s 9 parts this short one has its peculiar thorniness. The elfish spin Whitman places on his queries and hedging averments — “as good as” and “for all” — dares my Spanish. “Who knows… but” reeks of subjunctive mood, but I’ve groped with moot outcomes for Spanish-sounding phraseology that puts the tone across. Whether or not my dependent clauses cut the mustard, ¿quién sabe?]
Closer yet I approach you,
Cada vez más me acerco a vosotros,
What thought you have of me now, I had as much of you—I laid in my stores in advance,
La consideración que ahora tengáis de mí, tanta tuve yo de vosotros — acumulé mis reservas por adelantado,
I consider’d long and seriously of you before you were born.
Pensé larga y seriamente en vosotros antes de que nacierais.

Who was to know what should come home to me?
¿Quién iba a saber lo que hubiera de domiciliarse en mí?
Who knows but I am enjoying this?
¿Quién sabe que yo no disfrute esto?
Who knows, for all the distance, but I am as good as looking at you now, for all you cannot see me?
¿Quién sabe que, pese al extremo de lejanía, yo no os contemple ahora, dado que no me podéis ver a mí?

(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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