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)

‘Pirinenques’ (I) – by Joan Maragall

Info: This poem is the first in a sequence of poems about the Pyrenees (the mountain range running along the border of France and Spain) collectively called ‘Pirinenques’, roughly meaning ‘Poems of the Pyrenees’.

 

Pirinenques

High in the Pyrenees
the flowers are drained with pallor,
the flowers are of weakened blue,
and tinged with bruised colour:
sad ones of the high mounts
are they, the shrouded crests,
and sad so too the herds
across the meadows spread,
so too is the upright shepherd
a figure of loneliness.
And the enfeebled sun
brings forth no heat, is colourless;
the forest wretched and woody,
and the grass short and ashen;
rocky and dismal grey
the peaks of those mountains,
all enveloped in snow
of eternal white patches,
and billowing around
the mist runs and passes.
At dusk, from within the valleys
the mist begins to rise,
and with its blanketing cover
goes solemnly up the mountain side.

Joan Maragall (1860-1911)

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 Original Catalan Text
 

Pirinenques

A dalt del Pirineu
les flors són esblaimades,
les flors són d’un blau clar,
blavoses o morades:
són tristes dels alts monts
les crestes emboirades,
i tristos els ramats
estesos per les prades,
i la del dret pastor
figura solitària.
El sol esblanqueït
no treu color ni escalfa;
el bosc mesquí i llenyós,
i l’herba curta i clara:
pedrosos i grisencs
els cims de les muntanyes,
tots ditejats de neu
d’eternes clapes blanques,
i fumejant arreu
la boira corre i passa.
Al tard, de dins les valls
la boira va aixecant-se,
i amb ella emmantellant
se va solemnement l’alta muntanya.
(Text sourced from http://www.xtec.cat/~evicioso/index.htm)