English: poems and bio

Mireia Calafell (Barcelona, 1980) is the author of Poètiques del cos (2006), Costures (2009) and Tantes mudes (2014). For her works, she has received many poetry prizes. In 2015, she was awarded the Lletra d’Or for the best book published in Catalan for Tantes mudes, which has recently been translated into Spanish (Stendhal Books, 2016).

Her poetry has been included in anthologies published in Argentina, Brazil, Holand, UK, the United Arab Emirates and Spain. She has participated into several international poetry festivals in Luxembourg, Buenos Aires, Pontevedra, Toronto, and she has been invited in to Italy, China and Finland among other countries.

Calafell also works for Artsmoved, where she is involved in the development of cultural and educational projects as well as studies into cultural politics. She has had several articles published in cultural studies research journals. In 2016, became the co-director of the I + Poetry festival and in 2018, the co-director of Barcelona Poesia festival.

LITERATURA

No t’ha besat i ha marxat amb pressa,

i ha arribat a casa, i ha encès l’ordinador,

i ha escrit no t’he besat, no t’he besat la boca

i ara què en faig jo d’aquest voler-te als llavis.

 

En fa literatura. Només literatura. 

LITERATURE

She didn’t kiss you and she left in a hurry,

and arrived home and switched on the computer

and wrote I have not kissed you, I have not kissed your mouth

and now what shall I do with this need for your lips.

 

Make literature. Just literature.

Translated by Graciella Edo Grigg and Ester Pou Jutglar

BARCELONA

Recordo aquell dolor cruel a les retines

el vespre en què de sobte vam veure-hi molt més clar.

Va ser una coincidència del tot inexplicable:

primer se sentí un cheese de mig milió de veus

i tot seguit en ràfega els flaixos de les càmeres.

Quin mal feia la llum, aquella llum tan blanca

que no deixava ombres, que tot ho il·luminava:

com cridava la gent davant de la descàrrega.

Després, clarividències: vam saber la veritat

d’aquesta ciutat nostra que és feta per als altres,

vam descobrir-hi claus als peus dels edificis,

pilons de cartró i fusta, pots de pintura oberts

i d’altres materials d’un decorat modern, cosmopolita.

Recordo el teu ensurt i el to de la pregunta:

¿si tot és una farsa, tu i jo som figurants?

Et vaig mirar com ara sense saber què dir-te,

i vam marxar en silenci, de la mà

com els enamorats que hi ha en una postal.

 

BARCELONA

 I recall that cruel pain in the retinas

the eve when, of a sudden, we saw so much clearer.

It was a coincidence, defying explanation:

first we heard the cheese of a half-million voices

and then the flashes of the cameras came in bursts.

How the light hurt, that light so white

that it left no shadows, that it lit up all:

how the people shouted before the barrage.

Afterward, clairvoyance: we discovered the truth

of this city of ours that is made for the others,

we dug up nails at the feet of the buildings,

blocks of cardboard blocks of wood, open pails of paint

and other provisions for modern décor, cosmopolitan.

I remember your shudder and the tone of the question:

if it’s all a farce, are you and I members of the cast?

And I looked then as now without knowing what to tell you,

and we walked off in silence, hand in hand

like lovers printed on a postcard.

Translated by Adrian Nathan

NAUFRAGI

Pel canal obert que deixen les esquenes

baixa com l’aigua el temps de les promeses.

Dormiu i no veieu desfilar els verbs

–còdols que desemboquen a altres mars–:

veureu, fareu, tindreu, viureu, sereu.

No us ho pensàveu, no ho esperàveu,

però el cabal del desencís ha anat pujant

i al llit, sou el que éreu: una parella

que ja no es mulla i va al revés, en desacord,

desfent l’amor, apassionadament.

 

SHIPWRECKS

In the open canal behind backs turned away

the time of promises flows off like water.

You sleep and you don’t see the words file past

– pebbles washed away to other seas –:

you will see, you will do, you will have, you will leave, you will be.

You didn’t think it, you didn’t hope it,

but the current of disillusion gathers force

and in the bed, you are what you were: a pair

that refuses to wade in now and pulls back, in discord,

unmaking love with a passion.

 Translated by Adrian Nathan

ECLESIASTÈS

No hi ha res nou en tot el que diem:

ni en l’esforç tossut de la bellesa

ni en el lament profund de cada pèrdua.

Tampoc al centre exacte dels poemes,

allà on la llum inevitablement encega.

 

Mai és el primer cop, mai és prou brusc

ni contundent el gest que imita i diu

confia en mi que sí, sempre hi seré.

 

No hi ha res nou, tret del silenci.

ECCLESIASTES

 There’s nothing new in all we say:

not in the stubborn strength of beauty

nor in the deep lament of every loss.

Nor in the very center of the poems

where the light inevitably blinds.

 

It’s never the first time, it’s never too brusque

or blunt, the gesture that burlesques and says:

trust me, I’ll always be there.

 

There’s nothing new, save silence.

 Translated by Adrian Nathan

 MUDA

Lentament –tampoc no hi ha alternativa–, es treu la roba.

Quanta dificultat en els botons de la camisa per uns dits

tremolosos com els seus. I els pantalons, els pantalons

són una prova d’equilibris, de paciència i dignitat,

com dir no puc en aquest ordre. Com dir, com l’ordre.

Quan és nua del tot torna a vestir-se, reprèn el ritual.

I així fins que s’acaba el dia i a ella, els dies, se li acaben.

 

No acceptarà mai que sols les serps, en fer la muda,

poden desprendre’s d’escates i, alhora, de ferides.

 

SHEDDING

 Slowly ─no other choice─, she takes off her clothes.

Shirt buttons are difficult for fingers

that tremble. And the trousers, the trousers

are a test of her balance, patience and dignity,

as if to say I cannot the way things are. How to put it, how things are.

When she is naked she gets dressed again, resuming the ritual.

And so until the end of the day, and the end of her days.

 

She cannot accept that only snakes, while shedding,

lose their scales and their wounds together.

Translated by Graciella Edo Grigg and Ester Pou Jutglar

BALENES FRANQUES

Quina delícia el joc de les balenes

quan no hi havia espècies ni hemisferis.

Quanta complicitat sota la mar

abans de l’espetec, de l’estampida,

d’aquell fugir sense saber per què

cap a altres oceans i separar-se,

d’aquell partir-se el gel inexplicable.

I ja mai més els dies sense temps

on tot el que calia era saltar,

i ja mai més foren regals les ones

sinó un recordatori de distàncies,

el dolor constant de qui ha perdut l’altre.

 

S’estimaven, jo sé que s’estimaven.

És fàcil reconèixer en els teus ulls

el moviment tectònic de l’adéu,

l’angoixa a la mirada de les bèsties,

com d’alts eren els salts que tu i jo fèiem.

 

GUILELESS WHALES

 What joy the play of the whales

when there were no species or hemispheres.

What complicity beneath the sea

before the rift, the stampede,

the elusion without knowing why

to other oceans, and separating,

the inexplicable splitting of the ice.

And never again the timeless days

when all there was to do was leap,

and the waves were no longer gifts

but rather mementoes of distances,

the enduring pain of having lost the other.

 

They love, I know they love.

It’s easy to see it in their eyes,

the tectonic movement of valediction,

the anguish in the beasts’ gaze,

how high you and I leapt.

Translated by Adrian Nathan

CERTESA

Saber interpretar què està dient

una piscina deserta quan fa fred,

una nòria aturada un dilluns qualsevol

sense núvols de sucre ni llums de neó,

o el tendal d’aquell circ que ja han desmuntat

–prou d’acrobàcies, de trucs, de màgia.

 

Entendre i acceptar que són això també:

dies tediosos buits d’atracció,

un paisatge insòlit que amenaça,

que es fa present cíclicament.

 

Saber-ho és, a la vegada,

acollir la certesa que el teu cos

no serà –no podrà ser– totes les nits

aquesta festa d’ara.

 

CERTAINTY

 Knowing how to interpret the words

of an empty pool amid the cold,

a Ferris wheel stalled on an humdrum Monday

sans sugar clouds or neon lights,

or a circus tent dismounted

– enough of acrobatics, trickery, magic.

 

Understanding and accepting that they are also this:

tedious days, devoid of attraction,

an eerie landscape that harbors menace,

that makes itself present cyclically.

 

Knowing this is, at the same time,

Accepting the certainty that your body

will not be – cannot be – every night

this present holiday.

Translated by Adrian Nathan

Vaig menjar amb la honestedat de qui no enganya allò que menja:

vaig menjar aquell menjar i no el seu nom.

Clarice Lispector

POÈTICA

Menjar com qui no menja el nom:

no la maduixa quasi impúdica

damunt del blanc de la ceràmica,

sinó l’ombra muda de l’hivern

que en el silenci acull l’esclat

per no ser allà esperant-ne el fruit.

 

Menjar el que no diu cap paraula

i així, amb la boca plena, escriure.

   I ate with the honesty of someone who cannot deceive what she eats:

                                                                                                            I ate the food and not its name.

Clarice Lispector

POETRY

 

To eat as if the word was not eaten:

not the almost brazen strawberry

on the white of a china plate,

but the mute shadow of winter

that welcomes in the silence a flicker

rather than linger waiting for fruit

 

To eat what words do not say

and so, mouth full, to write.

Translated by Graciella Edo Grigg and Ester Pou Jutglar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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