jueves, 9 de agosto de 2012

Palabras de Margaret Randall en Malpaís Review

Introduction to poems by María Vázquez Valdez
—Margaret Randall

She is in the ruins at Petra, Jordan, a camera lifted to her eye. She is sleeping in a makeshift tent on Mexico City’s Reforma Avenue along with thousands of others protesting yet another fabricated outcome to her country’s presidential election. She is standing on Plateau Point, the high thrust of land deep in Grand Canyon, listening to the power of the Colorado River as it roars through Hance Rapid. On stage in the University of Mexico’s impressive aula magna, a brilliant orange shawl flows from her slender body. Wherever she is, poetry moves through María Vázquez Valdez as if it were on its home map.
            María was born in Zacatecas, Mexico. She lives in Mexico City where she works as a journalist, photographer, translator, editor of art and architectural books, and as her deepest self, which is as a poet. María is a weaver of life as well as of words. She has traveled the world—from India to Peru—experiencing moments of deadly menace and exquisite beauty, many of which have found their way into her rich and evocative poetry. She practices yoga. She meditates.
            María did her undergraduate work in journalism and communication at the UNAM (National Autonomous University of Mexico), and later obtained a Masters in book editing. She is currently the editor-in-chief of an important arts magazine.
            I first came in contact with María a decade ago, when she was preparing her seminal anthology Voces desdobladas / Unfolded Voices, bilingual selections of poetry and interviews with several Mexican and U.S. women poets, of whom I was one. Over the next few years we would translate one another’s work, appear in a number of readings together, and become fast friends. Among her other publications are Estanciones del albatros (2008), a collection of cultural essays; Rayuela de museos (2005), a large volume about the world’s most important art museums, text and photos by the author; and Caldero (1999) and Estancias (2004), both poetry books.
            The following is a very small sampling of María’s poetry, a taste I hope will leave the reader wanting more.


To The little girls of Oventic


That morning fog
is a sigh,
a moist secret

A blue flame
glinting in the women’s eyes
in the eyes of the men

a fertile field
of green giants,
ladders decorated
with shiny ribbons
and bruised flesh


A little girl
climbs the frozen hill

From above she sees
a tide of soldiers
chopping the bodies
as if they were trees,
they hold
her silenced
empty heart
between their boots

Farther up
she knows
the brutal

The red trunks
of the Ceiba
are stumps now,
broken too,


In a room
made of mud and wood
an old man dies

His feet are tracks
sewn of open wounds,
from this deaf land
his flesh was exiled
to the highlands

His shadow dances in the dark,
cut by the scissors
of a single candle

It calls forth the ancient ones
who own the wind,
the red jaguars
who follow the rains
and rivers

It calls for the spirit
embroidered by Moon,
a lonely memory
dying in the swamps
like his descendents


as the flowering zinacanteca
that surrounded by such green
lets its sparkle drop,
like the cleanly adorned tzeltal
that gazes profound and sad,
like the tzotzil suspended in midair
at the highest reach of mountain,
beaten by wool and cold

Upon what knife edge
do you harvest life?

Broken in the folds of the earth,
a defenseless woman surrounded by beasts,
your womb plundered in the thorns

brilliant reflection
in eyes and lakes,
land darkened
by coagulated blood,
woman graceful
as fire,
as water.

Del libro Caldero de María Vázquez Valdez,
Ediciones Alforja, Mexico, 1999
Versión en inglés: Margaret Randall


because nothing matters
neither sunflower nor that brown bird
pyramid nor tree

you get smaller on the wind
nothing matters in this silence

the old man speaks from his high seat
he says your eyes do not see:
everything is Maya the Vedanta says,
mirage in movement

nothing matters
neither years nor the dust
that wakes in our lungs

fingers tumbling through mist
in search of dreams

nothing matters between you and me
and an ancient spiral unwinds
it brings you to my hands
fresh water and pedestal
luminous quartz in my belly
and white flowers through the smoke nothing matters

running in decapitated rivers
life scatters and reaches
perfect peaks
of eagles and the breath of altitude

from there to the deepest chasm nothing matters
everything finds a new sun, a dazzling moon
or hell

but nothing matters

nothing matters because all is one,
a single drumbeat
under the sky
deep heartbeat that wakes
from sleep or agony

ecstasy or anguish
it’s the same runaway colt in your breast

nothing matters not you not me not anyone

because all is one
Versión en inglés: Margaret Randall

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