domingo, 27 de enero de 2013


Robyn Sarah

Robyn Sarah (Canadá). Nació en Nueva York de padres canadienses y creció en Montreal, donde aún vive. Es autora de nueve libros de poesía, dos colecciones de cuentos y un libro de ensayos, Little Eurekas: A Decade’s Thoughts on Poetry: 

“Fugue”, “Nocturne”. From The Space Between Sleep and Waking, (Villeneuve, 1981). “Black Walnut”. From Anyone Skating On That Middle Ground, (Véhicule Press, 1984). “Redoing the Entrance”. From Questions About The Stars, (Brick Books, 1998). “Bounty” and “Tony’s Sharpening”. From  A Day’s Grace, (Porcupine’s Quill, 2003).

Sus poemas han sido antologados en Fifteen Canadian Poets x 2 and x 3, The Best Canadian Poetry in English (2009 and 2010), The Bedford Introduction to Literature, The Norton Anthology of Poetry, Garrison Keillor’s Good Poems for Hard Times (US) and Modern Canadian Poets: An Anthology (UK).  She edited The Essential George Johnston, The Essential Don Coles, and The Essential Margaret Avison for The Porcupine’s Quill.

Actualmente es editora de poesía para Cormorant Books.


Las mujeres están en camino
al nuevo país. Los hombres observan
desde altas ventanas de oficina
mientras las mujeres se van.
No llegan muy lejos
en un día. Aún las puedes ver
desde altas ventanas de oficina.

Las mujeres están en camino
al nuevo país. Se lo llevan
todo consigo: mantas,
pianos, niños. O lo dejan
todo atrás: gatos,
plantas, niños.
No llegan muy lejos en un día.

Algunas mujeres viajan solas
al nuevo país. Algunas
con un niño, o niños.
Algunas van en parejas o grupos
o en parejas con un niño
o niños. Algunas en un grupo con
gatos, plantas, niños.

No llegan muy lejos en un día.
Han de parar a hacer pan en la carretera
al nuevo país, y compartir
el pan con otras mujeres. Niños
crecen más allá de sus ropas y las ceden
a niños más pequeños. Las mujeres también
ceden ropas, se ponen las unas

los gatos, plantas, niños de las otras, y en la luna llena
nadie recuerda el camino al nuevo país
en el que habrá espacio para todo el mundo y
será verano y los niños cederán
sus ropas y los panecillos subirán
sin levadura y las mujeres habrán llegado
tan lejos que nadie pueda verlas, ni siquiera desde

altas ventanas de oficina.


Women are on their way
to the new country. The men watch
from high office windows
while the women go.
They do not get very far
in a day. You can still see them
from high office windows.

Women are on their way
to the new country. They are taking
it all with them: rugs,
pianos, children. Or they are leaving
it all behind them: cats,
plants, children.
They do not get very far in a day.

Some women travel alone
to the new country. Some
with a child, or children.
Some go in pairs or groups
or in pairs with a child
or children. Some in a group with
cats, plants, children.

They do not get very far in a day.
They must stop to bake bread on the road
to the new country, and to share
bread with other women. Children
outgrow their clothes and shed them
for smaller children. The women too
shed clothes, put on each other’s

cats, plants, children, and at full moon
no one remembers the way to the new country
where there will be room for everyone and
it will be summer and children will
shed their clothes and the loaves will
rise without yeast and women will have come
so far that no one can see them, even from

high office windows.


She sits up late, listening
to the wind in leaves that
may be gone tomorrow: one gust
this time of year, and up they fly,
there is no calling them back, and
it will always happen too quickly:
in the next room the child
stirs in his crib, cries out
without waking — she thinks of sleep
but sits on, unmoving; a moth
flops in the lampshade, the chairs
cast straight shadows. What
keeps her here at this hour, what —
in the plainness of things, the bare floor,
the broom in the corner, the tea stains
on the frayed tablecloth — sharpens her nerve
to the quiver of a flame-end?
She thinks: Alive.

Down the alley a dog begins barking.
The tree shakes with a knowing
the bones soon share.

Black Walnut

We found those funny green balls in the grass,
perfumy as unripe oranges, but hard,
and bleeding rank iodine when cut open,
leaving their stain deep in the palms’ creases.
The stone inside was hard to hack away
from the raw flesh of the stubborn fruit.

Now, heading into winter, one fruit
of the several we picked up that day in the grass
sits on the sill, where I put it away
to see if it would ripen. Blackish, rock hard
though light as pumice, it has dried in ridged creases.
It would take a hammer to break this open.

But who would ever think of breaking it open?
It seems an artifact now, not a fruit.
Its history is sealed into these creases
as ice preserves the lay of the tangled grass.
I have no use for this thing; why is it hard
to decide the time has come to throw it away?

Maybe because the scent has not gone away,
and the faint spice of it has power to open
thought-ways to other things grown soft or hard
with age or their own failure to yield fruit
(though they persist, unkillable as the grass
that, flattened, springs back up from its own creases.)

I think how ice moves over the earth, and creases
the face of it, or grinds the edges away,
leaving a smooth bed for the blanketing grass.
I think how, in the rock, deep fissures open
and endure to become valleys, lush with fruit —
and then, how rotting trees have turned stone hard.

And I think of the passion to preserve, the hard
clear light that loves to register the creases
in a face, or a cloth with an arrangement of fruit:
as if recording these could hold away
the shadow of that chasm we know must open
soon at our feet, in the supple familiar grass.

Hard as its nut, this mummy of a fruit
creases the brow. The mind drifts far away,
open to every current in the grass.

Redoing the Entrance

Today the stairs end in mid-air, halfway down.
I see you at the bottom — pencil in hand,
chewing your lip, assessing with slight frown
the space you’ve opened for the curved stairs planned
in place of straight ones. — You’ve got it figured out,
you tell me — smell of hot sawdust on the air —
you see how you can do it. (Scenting my doubt?)
I gaze down at the sawdust in your hair,
and wonder at the faith that made the cut
before the plans were drawn. The way you are.
The way you made me yours — not asking what
could go wrong — trusting we’d come this far.
And how you’ve placed a table for a landing,
so I can climb down now, to where you’re standing.


Make much of something small.
The pouring-out of tea,
a drying flower’s shadow on the wall
from last week’s sad bouquet.
A fact: it isn’t summer any more.

Say that December sun
is pitiless, but crystalline
and strikes like a bell.
Say it plays colours like a glockenspiel.
It shows the dust as well,

the elemental sediment
your broom has missed,
and lights each grain of sugar spilled
upon the tabletop, beside
pistachio shells, peel of a clementine.

Slippers and morning papers on the floor,
and wafts of iron heat from rumbling rads,
can this be all? No, look — here comes the cat,
with one ear inside out.
Make much of something small.

Tony’s Sharpening

A summer evening sound, his silver bell
summoning householders to bring
their scissors, kitchen knives, blunt blades
to sing against his whetstone.

Tony the Sharpener. He used to pass
on a bicycle, years back.
Now it’s a little truck he has,
but the same sweet-toned bell

cling-clings across the evening’s
linden-laden air, the languid games
of after-supper children
granted a stay of bath and bed

for the red hour of afterglow
when robins pipe in the hedge.
Tony, spin your stone again,
give life back its edge.

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