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sábado, 3 de agosto de 2013


Iain Crichton Smith 
(1928-1998), Nació en Glasgow, pero se crió en la isla de Lewis y gran parte de su poesía se basa en la estricta cultura Presbiteriana de la isla, y su protesta en contra de ella. Escribió tanto en gaélico y en Inglés, novelas y cortos de ficción, así como muchos libros de poesía. Desde 1952 trabajó como maestro en Clydebank.


Crichton Smith's poetry quite often had a character perhaps based on his mother. He also typically used natural images to convey emotion.
His poetry includes:
Culloden and After (1961) - an attack on that period in British history, especially "Bonnie Charlie".
Old Woman (1965)
The Iolaire (date)
The Man who Cried Wolf(1964)
You Lived in Glasgow (date)
You'll Take a Bath (date)


The Long River (1955)
Bùrn is Aran (1960)
Thistles and Roses (1961)
Deer on the High Hills (1962)
An Dubh is an Gorm (1963)
Bìobuill is Sanasan Reice (1965)
The Law and the Grace (1965)
Modern Gaelic Verse (1966)
The Golden Lyric: an Essay on the Poetry of Hugh MacDiarmid (1967)
At Helensburgh (1968)
Consider the Lilies (1968)
Ben Dorain by Duncan Ban MacIntyre (1969)
From Bourgeois Land (1969)
The Last Summer (1969)
Iain am Measg Nan Reultan (1970)
Maighstirean is Ministearan (1970)
Selected Poems (1970)
Survival Without Error (1970)
My Last Duchess (1971)
Poems to Eimhir translated from Sorley MacLean (1971)
Love Poems and Elegies (1972)
An-t-Adhar Ameireaganach (1973)
The Black and the Red (1970)
Rabhndan is Rudan (1973)
Eadar Fealla-dha is Glaschu (1974)
Goodbye Mr Dixon (1974)
Hami Autumn (1974)
The Notebooks of Robinson Crusoe (1975)
The Permanent Island (1975)
An t-Aonaran (1976)
The Hermit and Other Stories (1977)
An End to Autumn (1978)
River, River (1978)
On the Island (1979)
Murdo (1981)
A Field Full of Folk (1982)
Selected Poems 1955-1982 (1982)
The Search (1982)
Mr Trill in Hades (1984)
The Exiles (Carcanet Press, 1984)
Selected Poems (Carcanet Press, 1985)
The Tenement (1985)
Towards the Human: Selected Essays (1986)
Twelve More Modern Scottish Poets (1986) editor, with C. King:
A Life (Carcanet Press, 1986)
Burn is Aran (1987)
An t-Eilean agus an Caan (1987)
In the Middle of the Wood (1987)
Moments in Glasshouses (1987) editor
A' Bheinn Oir (1989)
Na Speuclairean Dubha (1989)
The Dream (1989)
Selected Poems (1990)
Turas tro Shaoghal Falamh (1991)
Na Guthan (1991)
An Honourable Death (1992)
Collected Poems (1992)
An Dannsa mu Dheireadh (1992)
Thoughts of Murdo (1993)
An Rathad gu Somalia (1994)
Ends and Beginnings (Carcanet Press, 1994)
The Human Face (Carcanet Press, 1996)
The Leaf and the Marble (Carcanet Press, 1998)
Country For Old Men and My Canadian Uncle (Carcanet Press, 2000)
Am Miseanaraidh (first published 2006)
Iain Crichton Smith, Guardate i gigli, a cura di Silvia Campanini, EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, 2009
New Collected Poems (Carcanet Press, 2010)

En el restaurante chino

Era bueno porque nunca fuimos,
en todos esos años juntos. No necesitábamos ir
aunque podíamos hablar de él y entonces permanecíamos
felices juntos en un lugar que habíamos vuelto
tan pequeño y falto de aire que no podíamos irnos.
Pero podíamos pensar en él y decir: «Tal vez
vayamos algún día». Pero no había manera
porque así vivíamos y habíamos perdido todos los mapas.
Se hizo más perfecto a medida que pasaron los lentos años
como si ya estuviéramos allí. Un buen día
si mirábamos lo veríamos todo a nuestro alrededor.
Estaríamos dentro de él, aún viejos y grises.

Y entonces una noche, en ese restaurante desaparecido
con mozos chinos alrededor, tomamos
el menú en chino y comprendimos
cada palabra. Cuando
los mozos sonrieron fue una revelación.
Se veían tan nítidos mientras los vasos se llenaban lentamente.

(Traducción: Matías Serra Bradford)


Because we'd never go there, it was good, 
those years together. We'd never need to go 
though we could talk of it and so we were 
happy together in a place we'd made 
so small and airless that we couldn't leave. 
But we could think of it and say, 'Perhaps 
we'll go there someday.' But we could not go 
for as we lived so we'd lost all the maps. 
It grew more perfect as the slow years passed 
as if we were there already. One fine day 
we'd find it all around us if we looked. 
We would be in it, even old and grey.

So that, one night, in that late restaurant
with Chinese waiters round us we picked up
the menu in Chinese and understood
every single word of it. It was
a revelation when the waiters smiled.
They looked so clear as the glasses slowly filled.


Poetry has nothing to do with who we are.
It cannot be explained by biography,
e.g. sickness, unhappiness.
Poetry is a swart planet
with which we are in touch, from which
we receive at certain times messages.
Nor is it a black or emerald clock –
I think it is a voice which speaks to us
at night, as unquiet trembling, or maybe
a curious arrangement of stones,
poorly random and yet sonorous,
a packet of crisps beside a Greek vase
on a day with the breeze flowing from the South.

        from Ends and Beginnings (Carcanet, 1994)

Early Spring

The crocuses are out in January
in their green and purple
and I have seen the gorse as well.
The seasons do not know themselves,
they are delirious with promise.
They stay awake with excitement instead of sleeping
as I did in my first job
when I was bringing learning to the young.
See, even the clouds are a different colour
they too are purple
they too have this early freshness.
Last night I was reading of an old man
who scouring among graves would find coffin wood
from which he would make violins.

You can borrow Ends and Beginnings (Carcanet, 1994) 

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