Barceloneta – Guest Translation

I recently had the privilege of reading someone else’s translation of ‘Barceloneta’, a poem which I posted my own translation of just last week. I think it’s great how there’s no monopoly over poetry translation, not even of the same poem, but in effect as many variations as there are people. I was really keen to demonstrate this, and so ‘geb’ of ‘don’t confuse the narrator‘ has very kindly allowed me to post their interpretation of Alexandre Plana’s poem. Here you go!

 

‘Barceloneta’ – Translation by geb

Near white sands and harbour, contours
of a rasping scent of stone, darkening.
Low houses, streets strung with balconies.
Stink of fish, of folded sails, of mildewed boards
and the mix of primary colours – green, blue, yellow –
of doors and of clothes hung to dry.
In colours and scents, the light unmakes it all.

Alexandre Plana (1889-1940)

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Original Catalan Text

 La Barceloneta
Vora la sorra blanca i el port, sa fesonomia
d’olor coent i pedra s’enfosqueix cada dia.
Cases baixes, carrers que atensen els balcons.
Fortor de peix, de veles plegades, de taulons
amb verdet i la mescla de les colors més fortes
-el verd, el blau, el groc, el vermell- en les portes
i en les robes que pengen posades a assecar.
En colors i en olors la llum tota es desfà.

(Text sourced from http://www.xtec.cat/~evicioso/index.htm)

Barceloneta – by Alexandre Plana

Note: Barceloneta (‘Little Barcelona’) is a small district of Barcelona tightly-packed by the water-front. Built in the 18th Century, for a long time it was the home of the city’s fishermen and its fishing industry.

 

Barceloneta

At the white sand’s edge beyond the port, the sudden appearance
of a rasping, itching smell of stone that each day darkens.
Squat houses, streets that to balconies edge towards.
The stench of fish, of folded sails and of boards
stained with mildew, and the mix of bolder colours
– the greens, the blues, the yellows and reds – on the doors
and on the clothes that are hung and placed out to dry.
In colours and smells all dissolves into a melted light.

Alexandre Plana (1889-1940)

————————————————————————-

 

Original Catalan Text

 La Barceloneta
Vora la sorra blanca i el port, sa fesonomia
d’olor coent i pedra s’enfosqueix cada dia.
Cases baixes, carrers que atensen els balcons.
Fortor de peix, de veles plegades, de taulons
amb verdet i la mescla de les colors més fortes
-el verd, el blau, el groc, el vermell- en les portes
i en les robes que pengen posades a assecar.
En colors i en olors la llum tota es desfà.

 

(Text sourced from http://www.xtec.cat/~evicioso/index.htm)