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)



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