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martes, 19 de febrero de 2013


Matthew Sweeney
Nació en Donegal, Irlanda, en 1952. 



A Dream of Maps, Raven Arts Press, Dublin, 1981
A Round House, Raven Arts Press, Dublin, 1983
The Lame Waltzer, Raven Arts Press, Dublin, 1985
The Chinese Dressing-Gown, Raven Arts Press, Dublin, 1987
Blue Shoes, Secker & Warburg, 1989
Cacti, Secker & Warburg, 1992
The Flying Spring Onion, Faber and Faber, London, 1992
The Snow Vulture, Faber and Faber, London, 1992
The Blue Taps, Prospero Poets, London, 1994
Fatso in the Red Suit, Faber and Faber, London, 1995
Penguin Modern Poets 12: Helen Dunmore, Jo Shapcott, Matthew Sweeney, Penguin, 1997
The Bridal Suite, Cape, London, 1997
A Smell of Fish, Cape, London, 2000
Selected Poems, Cape, London, 2002
Fox, Bloomsbury, London, 2002
Sanctuary, Cape, London, 2004
Stories, Cape, London, 2006
Black Moon, Cape, London, 2007
Pendulum: The Poetry of Dreams (contributor), Avalanche Books, 2008

As editor

Emergency Kit: Poems for Strange Times (editor with Jo Shapcott), Faber and Faber, London, 1996
Beyond Bedlam: Poems Written Out of Mental Distress (editor with Ken Smith), Anvil Press Poetry, 1997
One for Jimmy: An Anthology from the Hereford and Worcester Poetry Project (editor) Hereford and Worcester County Council, 1992
Selected Poems of Walter de la Mare (Poet to Poet series) (editor), Faber and Faber, London, 2006

For children

Up on the Roof: New and Selected Poems, Faber and Faber, London 2001
Irish Poems, (editor) Macmillan Children’s Books, 2005
The New Faber Book of Children’s Verse (editor), Faber and Faber, London, 2001


Emergency Kit: Poems for Strange Times (with Jo Shapcott) Faber and Faber, London 1996 
Beyond Bedlam: Poems Written Out of Mental Distress (with Ken Smith) Anvil Press Poetry, London 1997 
The New Faber Book of Children’s Verse (editor) Faber and Faber, London 2001 


Writing Poetry (Teach Yourself Series) (with John Hartley Williams) Hodder & Stoughton, London 1996

La lechuza blanca

Por sobre las cabezas del pelotón de fusilamiento
voló una lechuza blanca, que ululó dos veces
antes de que tiraran del gatillo
y cuando la mujer se desplomó en las cuerdas,
y su vestido blanco se salpicó de sangre,
la lechuza aterrizó en su hombro,
ululó otra vez y recorrió con su mirada
de enormes ojos a los uniformados,
uno de los cuales le iba a apuntar pero el capitán
le desvió el rifle de un manotazo
mientras la lechuza picoteó la sangre
del pecho de la mujer, ensuciando
las plumas de su propio pecho, y luego
fijo su vista en los pasmados hombres
antes de despegar de súbito apenas salvando
la cabeza de uno y obligándolos a todos
a voltear y verla alejarse planeando, y recibir
el eco de un último ulular desde el cielo.

Traducción de Carlos López Beltrán y Pedro Serrano

En el polvo

Y luego en el polvo él dibujó un rostro,
el rostro de una mujer, y le preguntó
al hombre que bebía whisky junto a él
si la había visto alguna vez, o si la conocía,
sin quitar nunca la vista de ella, como si
esto pudiera hacerla surgir toda entera. Y luego,
mientras negaba con la cabeza, hizo que su bota
la disolviera en una nube de tierra.
Arrojó un leño más al fuego,
vació su vaso y lo llenó nuevamente,
mirando que su perro se levantaba
para gruñir de cara al camino de barro
que se extendía, pleno, en un accidentado horizonte.
Un disparo acompañó el primer ladrido del perro,
se duplicó, se triplicó, se convirtió en una balacera
que paró sin que nada apareciera, entonces se dispuso
a confrontarlo, pero ni siquiera el viento
rozó su cara, ni una sombra,
y cuando su perro había callado ya, una mano
lo ayudó a sentarse y a retomar su vaso.

Versión de Carlos López Beltrán y Pedro Serrano

In the dust

And then in the dust he drew a face,
the face of a woman, and he asked
the man drinking whiskey beside him
if he’d ever seen her, or knew who she was,
all the time staring down at her, as if
this would make her whole. And then,
at the shake of the head, he let his boot
dissolve her into a settling cloud.
He threw another plank on the fire,
drained his glass and filled it again,
watching his dog rise to its feet
and start to growl at the dirt-road
that stretched, empty, to a hilly horizon.
A shiver coincided with the dog’s first bark,
that doubled, trebled, became gunfire
that stopped nothing coming, so he stood
to confront it, but not even a wind
brushed his face, no shape formed,
and after the dog went quiet, a hand
helped him sit down and rejoin his glass.

El frío

Tras la interminable borrachera, 
y la insulsa acrimonia,
se lanzó a pie hacia el mar, 
una milla al menos bajo el viento,
entre hileras de coches estacionados 
en zig zag y el sonsonete de la disco, dejando 
atrás farolas, aunque de requerir luz
las estrellas le habrían bastado:
bajó a la playa bamboleándose, 
una lata de cerveza en cada bolsillo,
y se sentó sobre una roca a beber,
y pensar en su matrimonio, 
y cuando ambas latas estuvieron vacías
se quitó los zapatos para meterse 
tambaleándose en el mar 
y coger rumbo a Islandia,
pero el Atlántico lo mandó de vuelta a casa,
no un cadáver, ni un fantasma, 
a despertar a su esposa
y quejarse del frío.

The Ice Hotel

I’m going back to the ice hotel,
this time under a false name
as I need to stay there again.

I’ll stand in the entrance hall,
marvelling at this year’s design,
loving the way it can’t be the same

because ice melts and all here is ice – 
the walls, the ceiling, the floor,
the seats in the lobby, the bed.

Not that I lay on naked ice,
but on the skins of reindeers,
piled high, as on a sled.

First, though, I went to the bar – 
no beer, only vodka – 
and I met my sculptor there,

or I should say, my ice sculptor
whose pieces were on display
in every room in the ice hotel,

and who told me his name was Thor.
We stood in that ice-blue light
swapping whisper after whisper,

drinking vodka after vodka
till we agreed to go to bed,
and neither of us slept that night.

Let me tell you about that bed –
ice pillars, two foot high,
each with a lit candle on top,

and wedged in the middle of each
the four corners of an ice sheet
three, maybe four inches thick.

On this the pelts were laid, 
then the Polar Survival bag
that the two of us climbed inside.

Next morning, over Arctic char,
he offered me any sculpture
but which could I take home?

And I didn’t want to go home
but I went. Now I’m going back – 
back to the latest ice hotel

with its blue ice, its silence,
its flickering candlelight,
its sculptures I can claim.

The Snowy Owl

Over the heads of the firing squad
flew a snowy owl, who oohooed  twice
just before they pulled their triggers
and as the woman slumped on her ropes,
blood splattering her white dress,
the owl landed on her shoulder, 
oohooed again, and swivelled its big-
eyed gaze over all the uniformed men,
one of whom raised his rifle
but the captain knocked it away
while the owl pecked at some blood
on the woman’s breast, smearing
its own breast feathers, then glared, 
it seemed, at the transfixed men,
before swooping off, barely missing
the head of one, making them all
turn to watch it glide away, and hear
one more oohoo echo through the sky. 

The Hat

A green hat is blowing through Harvard Square
and no one is trying to catch it.
Whoever has lost it has given up – 
perhaps, because his wife was cheating,
he took it off and threw it like a frisbee,
trying to decapitate a statue
of a woman in her middle years
who doesn’t look anything like his wife.
This wind wouldn’t lift the hat alone,
and any man would be glad to keep it.
I can imagine – as it tumbles along,
gusting past cars, people, lampposts – 
it sitting above a dark green suit.
The face between them would be bearded
and not unhealthy, yet. The eyes 
would be green, too – an all green man
thinking of his wife in another bed,
these thoughts all through the green hat,
like garlic in the pores, and no one,
no one pouncing on the hat to put it on. 

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