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The Longing, Remembering the Sway of the Primal Guide, Translation of Carlos Bousono's poem

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The Longing, Remembering the Sway of the Primal Guide, Translation of Carlos Bousono's poem

Carlos Bousono’s poem : Recordando a pastora imperio

                         for Damaso Alonso

(Poem published in the collection : Metaphora del desafuero, 1988, and dedicated
to Damaso Alonso, who exerted on Carlos Bousono an avowed influence and
patronage, concludes my own present tribute to the Maître. I confess I had not
read Bousono’s poems – I may have glanced at a couple of poems when I first
bought the Espasa-Calpe anthology some years ago – before I began translating
them on October 16, 2013.)

I have always thought that in the state of sudden immobility
of the immemorial dancer of flamenco the entire dance
is concentrated of a sudden in this posture
of an instant,
under the weight of centuries,
all of its foregoing agitation,
in such a way as in its absolute fixation is to be found
  its passing and its minute ad mysterious simulation :
the flight of sea gulls over the sea, their avid and sudden swoop
  onto the prey,
and she herself, the flamenco dancer herself, becomes in that instant,
like the form most refined and pure
of such an incomprehensible paradox : velocity and paralisation,
becoming more dense in the procès
between Aquiles and parsimony,
or the tortoise and despair…
No, there is no différence,
because to differentiate hère is to make a descent,
while here there is but an ascent.

And has the flamenco dancer understood suddenly
  that to make a move
is an intolerable imperfection
for whoever aspires to the most arduous achievement,
to the supreme compromise with the fire in the beyond
  and the surprise, sacred and full of rejoicing between
  the fresh flames,
a compromise, then,
with the truth of the highest form of living,
and so the dancer of flamenco
remained for this reason without moving
in a difficult equilibrium
to see if that position, without touching it,
in not moving any of the pièces,
without turning a page, without causing the hinges to friction,
could by chance last, keep enduring there,
on the razor’s edge,
maintain itself on the head of a pin’s unlikely verticality,
balance itself on tip-toes, without breathing, each instant
   succeeding the other,
on the verge of the abysm itself,
earth and boulders coming loose,
and one after another in succession, and in succession…

© T. Wignesan – Paris, 2013

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