x
Colección Voces que dejan Huellas
William Carlos Williams

Reading his Poems

voz del Autor
CAEDMON TC 1047
1958
x
x

Oír el disco completo   

     The Descent    x      texto
     To Daphne and Virginia    x
     The Orchestra    x
     For Eleanor and Bill Monahan    x
     The Yellow Flower    x
     The Host    x
     Work in Progress, section    x
     The Botichellian Trees    x
     Flowers by the Sea    x      texto
     The Yachts    x
     The Catholic Bells    x
     Smell!    x
     Fish    x
     Primrose    x
     To Elsie    x
     Between Walls    x
     On Gay Wallpaper    x
     The Red Lilly    x


x

The sparrow

Traducción y voz de Octavio Paz



(To My Father)

This sparrow
     who comes to sit at my window
           is a poetic truth
more than a natural one.
     His voice,
           his movements,
his habits—
     how he loves to
           flutter his wings
in the dust—
     all attest it;
           granted, he does it
to rid himself of lice
     but the relief he feels
           makes him
cry out lustily—
     which is a trait
           more related to music
than otherwise.
     Wherever he finds himself
           in early spring,
on back streets
      or beside palaces,
           he carries on
unaffectedly
      his amours.
           It begins in the egg,
his sex genders it:
     What is more pretentiously
           useless
or about which
     we more pride ourselves?
           It leads as often as not
to our undoing.
     The cockerel, the crow
           with their challenging voices
cannot surpass
     the insistence
           of his cheep!
Once
      at El Paso
           toward evening,
I saw—and heard!—
     ten thousand sparrows
           who had come in from
the desert
     to roost. They filled the trees
           of a small park. Men fled
(with ears ringing!)
     from their droppings,
           leaving the premises
to the alligators
     who inhabit
           the fountain. His image
is familiar
     as that of the aristocratic
           unicorn, a pity
there are not more oats eaten
     nowadays
           to make living easier
for him.
     At that,
           his small size,
keen eyes,
     serviceable beak
           and general truculence
assure his survival—
     to say nothing
           of his innumerable
brood.
     Even the Japanese
           know him
and have painted him
     sympathetically,
           with profound insight
into his minor
     characteristics.
           Nothing even remotely
subtle
     about his lovemaking.
           He crouches
before the female,
     drags his wings,
           waltzing,
throws back his head
     and simply—
           yells! The din
is terrific.
     The way he swipes his bill
           across a plank
to clean it,
     is decisive.
           So with everything
he does. His coppery
     eyebrows
           give him the air
of being always
     a winner—and yet
           I saw once,
the female of his species
     clinging determinedly
           to the edge of
a water pipe,
     catch him
           by his crown-feathers
to hold him
     silent,
           subdued,
hanging above the city streets
     until
           she was through with him.
What was the use
     of that?
           She hung there
herself,
     puzzled at her success.
           I laughed heartily.
Practical to the end,
     it is the poem
           of his existence
that triumphed
     finally;
           a wisp of feathers
flattened to the pavement,
     wings spread symmetrically
           as if in flight,
the head gone,
     the black escutcheon of the breast
           undecipherable,
an effigy of a sparrow,
     a dried wafer only,
           left to say
and it says it
     without offense,
           beautifully;
This was I,
     a sparrow.
           I did my best;
farewell.

William Carlos Williams
x
The defective record     

x

      Spring and All (By the Road to the Contagious Hospital)    x

The Spoken Word

Poets
BBC - British Library
2003
x
William Carlos Williams textos


Flowers by the Sea


When over the flowery, sharp pasture’s
edge, unseen, the salt ocean

lifts its form—chicory and daisies
tied, released, seem hardly flowers alone

but color and the movement—or the shape
perhaps—of restlessness, whereas

the sea is circled and sways
peacefully upon its plantlike stem



x

The Descent


The descent beckons
.............as the ascent beckoned.
.............................Memory is a kind
of accomplishment,
.............a sort of renewal
............................ even
an initiation, since the spaces it opens are new places
.............inhabited by hordes
.............................heretofore unrealized,
of new kinds --
.............since their movements
........... are toward new objectives
(even though formerly they were abandoned).
No defeat is made up entirely of defeat -- since
the world it opens is always a place
................formerly
............................unsuspected. A
world lost,
................a world unsuspected,
............................beckons to new places
and no whiteness (lost) is so white as the memory
of whiteness.. .
With evening, love wakens
though its shadows
..........................which are alive by reason
of the sun shining --
.............grow sleepy now and drop away
.....from desire........
Love without shadows stirs now
...............beginning to awaken
...........................as night
advances.
The descent
...............made up of despairs
............................and without accomplishment
realizes a new awakening:
...........................which is a reversal
of despair.
.............. For what we cannot accomplish, what
is denied to love,
...............what we have lost in the anticipation --
............................a descent follows,
endless and indestructible..............


x