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martes, 22 de julio de 2014


A. E.  Stallings

Alicia Elsbeth Stallings (nacida en 1968) es una poeta americana y traductora. Fue nombrada en 2011 MacArthur Fellow. 
Una de las figuras más destacadas del new formalism norteamericano.

Stallings fue criada en Decatur, Georgia y estudió obras clásicas en la Universidad de Georgia (AB, 1990) y en la Universidad de Oxford. Es editora con el Examen Atlanta. En 1999, Stallings se trasladó a Atenas, Grecia y ha vivido allí desde entonces. Es la Directora del Programa de Poesía del Centro de Atenas y está casada con John Psaropoulos, que es el editor del News Atenas.

Es una colaboradora frecuente de poemas y ensayos en la revista Poetry. 


Archaic Smile. (University of Evansville Press, 1999). ISBN 0-930982-52-5
Hapax. (TriQuarterly, 2006). ISBN 0-8101-5171-5
The Nature of Things. (Penguin, 2007). Verse translation of Lucretius, De Rerum Natura. ISBN 978-0-14-044796-5
The Word Exchange: Anglo-Saxon Poems in Translation . Eds. Greg Delanty and Michael Matto. (WW Norton & Company, 2010). ISBN 978-0-393-07901-2
Olives. (TriQuarterly, 2012). ISBN 978-0-81015-226-7

Triolet sobre una línea apócrifa de Martín Lutero

¿Por qué son del diablo las buenas canciones,
las noches de sábado, el neón, el licor,
las chicas cuchara, las vacilaciones?
¿Por qué son del diablo las buenas canciones?
¿Ahuyenta con ellas sus tribulaciones
en esos domingos de largo rencor?
¿Por qué son del diablo las buenas canciones,
las noches de sábado, el neón, el licor? ~


No puedes desquemar lo que has quemado.
Raspes o no el cuchillo en la tostada,
No puedes regresar. Lo habrás notado:
La mantequilla seguirá en su estado.
No puedes desenviar la carta enviada,
No puedes desquemar lo que has quemado.
Aquel antiguo amante rechazado,
El puente que precisas más que nada.
No puedes regresar. Lo habrás notado:
Esa reputación se la ha ganado
Por algo el humo, no es fanfarronada–
No puedes desquemar lo que has quemado.
Buscabas un hogar, y justo al lado,
En la playa, tu nave calcinada.
No puedes regresar. Lo habrás notado,
Que aún y cuando hubieras regresado
Serías un fantasma a tu llegada.
No puedes regresar. Lo habrás notado,
Que lo que está quemado está quemado. ~

Versiones del inglés de Pedro Poitevin

A. E. Stallings, en Olives, Evanston, 
Northwestern University Press, 2012.

Cardinal Numbers

Mrs. Cardinal is dead:
All that remains—a beak of red,
And, fanned across the pavement slab,
Feathers, drab.

Remember how we saw her mate
In the magnolia tree of late,
Glowing, in the faded hour,
A scarlet flower,

And knew, from his nagging sound,
His wife foraged on the ground,
As camouflaged, as he (to us)

One of us remarked, with laughter,
It was her safety he looked after,
On the watch, from where he sat,
For dog or cat

(For being lately married we
Thought we had the monopoly,
Nor guessed a bird so glorious

Of course, the reason that birds flocked
To us:  we kept the feeder stocked.
And there are cats (why mince words)
Where there are birds.

A 'possum came when dusk was grey,
And so tidied the corpse away,
While Mr. Cardinal at dawn
Carried on,

As if to say, he doesn't blame us,
Our hospitality is famous.
If other birds still want to visit,
Whose fault is it?

Consolation for Tamar

on the occasion of her breaking
an ancient pot

You know I am no archeologist, Tamar,
And that to me it is all one dust or another.
Still, it must mean something to survive the weather
Of the Ages—earthquake, flood, and war—

Only to shatter in your very hands.
Perhaps it was gravity, or maybe fated—
Although I wonder if it had not waited
Those years in drawers, aeons in distant lands,

And in your fingers' music, just a little
Was emboldened by your blood, and so forgot
That it was not a rosebud, but a pot,
And, trying to unfold for you, was brittle.


Poet, Singer, Necromancer—
I cease to run.  I halt you here,
Pursuer, with an answer:

Do what you will.
What blood you've set to music I
Can change to chlorophyll,

And root myself, and with my toes
Wind to subterranean streams.
Through solid rock my strength now grows.

Such now am I, I cease to eat,
But feed on flashes from your eyes;
Light, to my new cells, is meat.

Find then, when you seize my arm
That xylem thickens in my skin
And there are splinters in my charm.

I may give in; I do not lose.
Your hot stare cannot stop my shivering,
With delight, if I so choose.

How the Demons Were Assimilated &
Became Productive Citizens

The demons were more beautiful than the angels.
They had no qualms about plastic surgery.
They took to wearing black:  didn't show dirt
In the city like Innocence, which anyway
Couldn't be worn between Labor Day and Easter.
They tired of grudging angels their gilded hair
& had theirs done.  Their complexions were so pale
The blond looked natural, only more so.
They shrunk their wings into fashionable tattoos
So cashmere suits draped better from their shoulders.
Elocution lessons turned hisses to lisps.

The demons converted.  They became Episcopalian,
Name-dropped high-ups in the Company of Heaven.
As for Evil, it became too much trouble:
The demons started to shirk the menial jobs
Which like good deeds, took one among the poor,
And bruised the manicure of rose-petal nails.
They preferred to stand by & watch Evil happen,
Or offended by odors & noise, even turned away.

They had become so beautiful, even the angels
(Who never looked in mirrors to comb their hair,
Afraid to be called vain, & never bought clothes
Since the old ones didn't wear out, just got shabby)
Left the lovely demons to languish, dropping all charges
On the spoiled creatures.  They were that good.

A Postcard from Greece

Hatched from sleep, as we slipped out of orbit
Round a clothespin curve new-watered with the rain,
I saw the sea, the sky, as bright as pain,
That outer space through which we were to plummet.
No guardrails hemmed the road, no way to stop it,
The only warning, here and there, a shrine:
Some tended still, some antique and forgotten,
Empty of oil, but all were consecrated
To those who lost their wild race with the road
And sliced the tedious sea once, like a knife.
Somehow we struck an olive tree instead.
Our car stopped on the cliff's brow.  Suddenly safe,
We clung together, shade to pagan shade,
Surprised by sunlight, air, this afterlife.

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