If You Go Far – by Joan Salvat-Papasseit

If you go far
.                so far yourself no more to see
then none would know my life as drawn by fate,
no other lips would hold me behind lock and key
but with your name my path I’d know and take.
Seeking solace in those girls would leave me naught
nor does song beneath the chink of glass proffer cheer,
when seeking souls come ships of war to Port,
there would I go, to stand alone and steer.
If I raised the flag that it might catch upon the air,
raised it oh so high, you’d look up and see it there.

Joan Salvat-Papasseit (1894-1924)

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Original Catalan text

‘Si Anessis Lluny’ – per Joan Salvat-Papasseit

Si anessis lluny
.                 tan lluny que no et sabés
tampoc ningú sabria el meu destí,
cap altre llavi no em tindria pres
però amb el teu nom faria el meu camí.
Un ram de noies no em fóra conhort
ni la cançó sota el dring de la copa,
vaixells de guerra vinguessin al Port
prou hi aniria, mariner de popa.
Si jo posava la bandera al pal
i era molt alta, t’hi veuria a dalt.

(Text sourced from: http://lletra.uoc.edu/especials/folch/salvatpa.htm)

Two Lovers – by Josep Carner

At sea’s edge there sat two lovers and their sorrow.
Falling came the autumn from darkening peaks beyond.
The wind whistled out as it raced across the furrow;
With leaf-litter and dust were the lovers wrapped around.
Imploringly with hands they raised a hopeless plea;
Against their backs came lashing down an icy, whipping chill,
With dust and dirt the wind had brought they found their mouths were filled,
Remnant skins upon their frames in aspect beggarly.
And flashed across each lover’s eyes a bolt of ire strange.
Perhaps they cursed the sea, and damned the mountain range.
If death would only take them, to sleep oblivion’s dream!
As pathways fork the cries of blame ring out along the coast,
And the night, the starless night, engulfs the lovers’ ghosts.
No more in places without name were those two lovers seen.

Josep Carner (1884-1970)

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Original Catalan Text

‘Dos Amants’

Hi havia dos amants vora la mar en pena.
Venia la tardor per serres fosquejants.
El vent féu un xiulet saltant per la carena;
amb fullaraca i pols embolcallà els amants.
En imploració van aixecar les mans;
un glacial fuet els afrontà l’esquena;
de polseguera es van trobar la boca plena,
despulles sobre el cos a estil de mendicants.
I van guspirejar llurs ulls d’una ira estranya.
Potser els van maleir la mar i la muntanya.
Tant de bo que la mort o l’oblit els colgués!
En un forc de camins esclataren en blasmes,
i la nit sense estels engolí llurs fantasmes.
Per indrets sense nom no es van veure mai més.

(Text sourced from: http://lletra.uoc.edu/especials/folch/carner.htm)

Frozen December’s New Song – by Josep Carner

Come December’s icy freeze;
in confusion it retires
from the city it must appease
and from afar admires
where the sky is filled with love;
the mountain shields from above
and the blue waves beside
in sweetest slumber they reside.
Barcelona, city of charm,
Catalonia’s flow’r,
December’s chill does you no harm
but smiles on from afar.
‘To you my frost shall not come near,
yet in abundance are roses here,
all over are the bushy bowers
enveloped in the whitest flowers.’
‘Woe to the one who mars your face
and a fool who you forgoes;
your soul of joy and solace
in fullness overflows.’
With dark shadows the wintry wight
comes to this place with all his might
but finds his fright turned clear and pure:
December smiles, and does demur.
There in the most secluded ways
the goldfinch sings his song;
and pollen fresh from earlier days
in dust is borne along;
laughs Sant Jordi, champion;
and between the hills of lush garden
a spout of water clear
cries ‘Onward’ and ‘No fear!’
Each city-girl shares her heart
and wears her violets for him;
their looks are lights that burn and spark
from Love’s own cherubim.
Golden is this city fair.
The icy wind of December
must confusedly retire
in tones as gentle as from a lyre.

Josep Carner (1884-1970)

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Original Catalan text

Nova Canço del Desembre Congelat – per Josep Carner’
El desembre congelat
confós se retira:
el detura una ciutat
que de lluny admira
on el cel és amorós;
la muntanya fa redós
i la blava onada
s’és adormissada.
Barcelona, bell casal,
flor de Catalunya,
el desembre no et fa mal:
dolçament s’allunya.
Diu: -Gebrada no et duré,
que hi ha encara en ton roser,
al cim de les branques,
tot de roses blanques.
Malaurat qui et faci tort
i foll qui t’oblida;
tens de festa i de conhort
l’ànima reblida;
l’ombra fosca de l’esglai
pervinguda a ton espai
es fa clara i fina,
somriu i declina.
Hi ha al carrer més amagat
cants de cadernera;
hi ha un nou pol·len del passat
en la polseguera;
riu sant Jordi el paladí
i, entre tosses de jardí,
un broll d’aigua clara
diu: “Avant!” i “Encara!”
Cada noia té promès
i duu violetes;
son esguard és tot encès
de les amoretes.
És daurada la ciutat.
Del desembre el vent gelat
confós se retira,
dolç com una lira.

 

(Text sourced from http://www.xtec.cat/~evicioso/index.htm and http://horinal.blogspot.co.uk/2013_12_01_archive.html)

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)

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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)