Albañilería / Biggin / Bricklaying

Photo by Naveen Kumar on Unsplash

Carlos Llaza: My wife and I have always dreamed of having a house by the sea. This short lyric is an attempt to use noble materials to construct a metaphor for family and commitment, facing the endlessness of the horizon. The voice that speaks and the person who writes overlap. This is dedicated to my Carly, who renews my universe every day.

Dorothy Lawrenson: It’s so difficult to write a successful love poem; this gorgeous lyric comes across as truly heartfelt. I love the way the dreamy imagery is grounded by the somewhat prosaic title and the emphasis on building a permanent home. I couldn’t resist translating caracola as roarin buckie, although the latter strictly refers to the shell of the common whelk (Buccinum undatum). Even though the name in Scots makes it sound very noisy, it’s generally not as big as the conches found in warm waters.

Scroll down to see a video of poet and translator reading this poem, with English subtitles.

por Carlos Llaza

para Carly, mi universo

Voy a pintarte una casa
frente al mar
con olas de pétalos como cortinas

y un jardín de atardeceres
donde nos recostaremos
entre brotes

mientras la niebla tenue
se disipa ante el bostezo
de la luna. Voy a pintarte

las caricias que la arena
trazará sobre tus pies,
los latidos de esta playa

dentro de una caracola
que—arrebol del cielo al hombro—
nos llevamos al oído.

owerset intae Scots bi Dorothy Lawrenson

fur Carly, ma universe

Aa’ll pent ye a hoose
luikin ontae the sea
wi petallie swaws lik curtains

an a gairden o gloamins
whaur we’ll lie doon
amang green spirls

whiles the palie smirr
dwines ablow the gantin
o the muin. Aa’ll pent ye

the straiks o the sand
as it coories roon yer feet,
the hert-dunts o this strand

in the shell o a roarin buckie
that – heivin’s leam at oor shooders –
we cairry tae oor lugs.  

translated into English by Carlos Llaza and Dorothy Lawrenson

for Carly, my universe

I am going to paint you a house
facing the sea
with waves of petals like curtains

and a garden of sunsets
where we will lie down
among blossoms

while the thin mist
dissipates before the yawn
of the moon. I am going to paint you

the caresses that the sand
will trace on your feet,
the heartbeats of this beach

inside a conch
– the red sun on our shoulders –
that we carry to our ears.

One comment

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *