Joan Margarit
LA IL·LUSTRACIÓ POÈTICA METROPOLITANA & CONTINENTAL
Plurilingual Anthology of Catalan Poetry
English

 
Joan Margarit
(Sanaüja, 1938)


BEYOND THE BEACH...
SUMMER
ULYSSES IN ITHACAN WATERS

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BEYOND THE BEACH...



Beyond the beach that mirrors the wind
there has to be a land where the waves
of my longing will die when the gods
have forsaken me and I am left alone.
A road that does not lead to death
is merely a blind alley.
 



Translated by D. Sam Abrams
Five Poets, Institute of North American Studies, Barcelona, 1988

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SUMMER



In rows along the roadside, the grapevines
lead as far as the cemetery wall.
The grapes ripen under the sun,
at the foot of cypresses from another daybreak.
We die little by little, while we attain
virtue and wisdom, feeling the summer
heat fall upon the vineyards.
We die without reaching fulfilment,
slightly rewarded for our dreams.
 


Translated by D. Sam Abrams
Five Poets, Institute of North American Studies, Barcelona, 1988

Ě


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


 


ULYSSES IN ITHACAN WATERS
 
Youíre nearing the island, and now you know
the meaning of life, what chance is.
Your bow will be dust on the shelf.
Dust the loom and the cloth.
The suitors camping in the courtyard
are shadows Penelope dreams up.
Youíre nearing the island: the sea
batters the rocky shore, like time the Odyssey.
No one has ever woven your absence
nor unraveled oblivion without a sound.
Even though at times reason may ignore it,
Penelope is a shadow in your dream.
Youíre nearing the island: the seagulls
that overspread the beach will not budge
when you cross it without leaving a trace,
because youíve never existed: youíre a legend.
Parhaps a Ulysses died far off, at Troy,
and perhaps a woman mourned for him,
but in the dream of a blind poet
you are the idea of man: on Homerís forehead,
eternal and unerring, every morning at daybreak
a solitary Ulysses disembarks.
 

Translated by D. Sam Abrams
Five Poets, Institute of North American Studies, Barcelona, 1988

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