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martes, 25 de diciembre de 2012


John Crowe Ransom
(Pulaski, 1888-Gambier, 1974) Escritor estadounidense. Fundador de la prestigiosa publicación Kenyon Review (1937), que dirigió hasta 1959, es el principal representante de la poesía sureña de EE UU y del New Criticism. Destacan, entre sus poemarios, Poemas sobre Dios (1919), Escalofríos y fiebre (1924) y Dos caballeros bajo fianza (1927) y, entre sus libros de ensayos, El cuerpo del mundo (1938) y La nueva crítica (1941).


—Soy un gentleman en un guardapolvo, tratando
de haceros escucharme. Vuestras lindas orejas
no escuchan de un anciano las temblorosas quejas.
Sólo oyen a los jóvenes murmurar suspirando.
Pero mirad las rosas muriendo en el rosal
y escuchad de la luna la canción espectral.
Pronto vendrá la linda lady que estoy llamando.
Soy un gentleman en un guardapolvo, tratando.

—Soy una lady joven en belleza, esperando
a mi amor verdadero, que me venga a besar.
¿Quién es este hombre cano que aquí me viene a hablar
con voz débil y seca, como en sueños sonando?
¡Salid de mis rosales, o empezaré a gritar!
Soy una lady joven en belleza, esperando.

Traducción: José Coronel Urtecho y Ernesto Cardenal

Janet Waking

Beautifully Janet slept
Till it was deeply morning. She woke then   
And thought about her dainty-feathered hen,   
To see how it had kept.

One kiss she gave her mother,
Only a small one gave she to her daddy
Who would have kissed each curl of his shining baby;   
No kiss at all for her brother.

“Old Chucky, Old Chucky!” she cried,   
Running across the world upon the grass   
To Chucky’s house, and listening. But alas,   
Her Chucky had died.

It was a transmogrifying bee
Came droning down on Chucky’s old bald head
And sat and put the poison. It scarcely bled,   
But how exceedingly

And purply did the knot
Swell with the venom and communicate
Its rigour! Now the poor comb stood up straight
But Chucky did not.

So there was Janet
Kneeling on the wet grass, crying her brown hen   
(Translated far beyond the daughters of men)   
To rise and walk upon it.

And weeping fast as she had breath
Janet implored us, “Wake her from her sleep!”   
And would not be instructed in how deep   
Was the forgetful kingdom of death.

John  Crowe Ransom, "Janet Waking" from Selected Poems, Third Edition, Revised and Enlarged. Copyright © 1924, 1927 by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc and renewed 1952, 1955 by John Crow Ransom.  Reprinted by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., a division of Random House, Inc.

Emily Hardcastle, Spinster

We shall come tomorrow morning, who were not to have her love,   
We shall bring no face of envy but a gift of praise and lilies   
To the stately ceremonial we are not the heroes of.

Let the sisters now attend her, who are red-eyed, who are wroth;   
They were younger, she was finer, for they wearied of the waiting   
And they married them to merchants, being unbelievers both.

I was dapper when I dangled in my pepper-and-salt;   
We were only local beauties, and we beautifully trusted
If the proud one had to tarry, one would have her by default.

But right across the threshold has her grizzled Baron come;
Let them robe her, Bride and Princess, who’ll go down a leafy archway   
And seal her to the Stranger for his castle in the gloom.

John Crowe Ransom, “Emily Hardcastle, Spinster” from Selected Poems, Revised and Enlarged Edition. Copyright 1924, 1927, 1934, 1939, 1945, © 1962, 1963 by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc.

Bells for John Whiteside’s Daughter

There was such speed in her little body,   
And such lightness in her footfall,   
It is no wonder her brown study
Astonishes us all.

Her wars were bruited in our high window.   
We looked among orchard trees and beyond   
Where she took arms against her shadow,   
Or harried unto the pond

The lazy geese, like a snow cloud
Dripping their snow on the green grass,   
Tricking and stopping, sleepy and proud,   
Who cried in goose, Alas,

For the tireless heart within the little   
Lady with rod that made them rise
From their noon apple-dreams and scuttle   
Goose-fashion under the skies!

But now go the bells, and we are ready,   
In one house we are sternly stopped
To say we are vexed at her brown study,   
Lying so primly propped.

John Crowe Ransom, “Bells for John Whiteside’s Daughter” from Selected Poems, Revised and Enlarged Edition. Copyright 1924, 1927, 1934, 1939, 1945, © 1962, 1963 by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. Used by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc.

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