(Liverpool, Inglaterra, 1968)
Deryn Rees-Jones fue nombrada como una de las poetas de la Próxima Generación gracias a su debut con el poemario The Memory Tray, que también fue nominado para un Premio Forward 1994. Esta colección retoma el estado de sueño de la infancia, la exploración de las cuestiones de género, la identidad y la pérdida, ya que "se zambulle de cabeza en el amor y la infidelidad, la memoria y el deseo", aplaudió William Scammell en el Independent on Sunday.
Nacida en Liverpool en 1968, Rees-Jones pasó el tiempo yendo de ida y vuelta entre Liverpool y la casa de la familia en Eglwysbach en el norte de Gales. Después de leer Inglés en la Universidad de Gales, Bangor, que hizo la investigación doctoral sobre mujeres poetas en el Birkbeck College, Universidad de Londres.
The Memory Tray, Seren, Bridgend, Wales, 1994
Signs Round a Dead Body, Seren, Bridgend, Wales, 1998
Quiver, Seren, Bridgend, Wales, 2004
Falls and Finds, Shoestring Press, Nottingham, 2008
Carol Ann Duffy, Northcote House Publishers, Tavistock, Devon, 1999; 2001; 2009
Consorting with Angels: Modern Women Poets, Bloodaxe, 2005
Sé exactamente la clase de mujer de la cual
me gustaría enamorarme
Si yo fuese un hombre.
Y ella no fuese yo, sino
Mayor y más seria y más triste.
Y sus ojos fuesen más amables;
Y sus pechos fuesen más generosos;
Los sutiles movimientos
De sus faldas color ciruela
Serían lo que rebosa de un verano de infancia.
Hablaría seis lenguas, ninguna de ellas la mía.
¿Y yo? Yo no sería una amante exigente.
Mis dedos largos, con su permiso,
Desenredarían su cabello trenzado.
Y de vez en cuando, le pediría que baile para mí,
A medio vestir sobre las escaleras tocadas por la luna.
Poesía galesa contemporánea, traducción y prólogo de Jorge Fondebrider, Pedro Serrano y Verónica Zondek; con Luciana Cordo Russo y Rhiannon Gwyn. Editará Trilce, México DF
Traducción de Verónica Zondek
Nota del Administrador: Deryn Rees-Jones pasó gran parte de su infancia en la casa familiar de Eglwys-bach en el norte Gales y se considera a sí misma como una escritora galesa.
I KNOW EXACTLY THE SORT OF WOMAN I’D LIKE
TO FALL IN LOVE WITH
If I were a man.
And she would not be me, but
Older and graver and sadder.
And her eyes would be kinder;
And her breasts would be fuller;
The subtle movements
Of her plum-coloured skirts
Would be the spillings of a childhood summer.
She would speak six languages, none of them my own.
And I? I would not be a demanding lover.
My long fingers, with her permission,
Would unravel her plaited hair.
And I’d ask her to dance for me, occasionally,
Half-dressed on the moon-pitted stairs.
AFTER YOU DIED
The night would not give in to me —
or something inside me would not yield.
The great harness of love I was wearing
stiffened in my shoulders, was held like a bit
between my teeth.
I woke and the moon was there,
her old romance of self-reliance and inconstancy.
And though my children in their turn
woke up to frantic dreams, were held,
brought back to bed,
she was there, her face full with a fierce singing.
And the dark again became a place
of sleep, a wild thing cohabiting.
From: Poetry Review: Off the Page
Publisher: Poetry Review, London, Volume 100:2
MY GRANDFATHER'S TATTOO
On sunny days, his shirtsleeves rolled
he’d cover with a sticking plaster
like the wound of Welsh he wouldn’t give his children
the blue-green inks of anchorage, the shame.
From: Poetry Review: Off the Page
"Rainbow, rainbow, rainbow!" E.B.
I go to sleep with the taste of you, and this is not the first time
for you are too much with me. And these are your hands,
in the darkness. This is the rough shape of
your face, only. Your hair, your ear, your thigh.
And then, out of nowhere, your tongue like a hot little fish
a blue fish, glinting electrics,
a fish accustomed to basking, I suppose,
in the clear hot waters of some tropical isle.
Not an ordinary fish, not a fish I could haul from the waters, or not easily.
Not a fish accustomed to travelling in solitude,
but one used to a rainbow accompaniment,
one used to the sea’s depths, and her sulky harbourings.
One used to the rockpools and the undertow, the colour of sands.
And, how suddenly you swam into me!
And was it your mouth, or the memory of your mouth?
Or was it a fish? Whatever it was, it was there.
There in the bloodstream, bruising artery, vein,
as it swam,
heading, no doubt, for the heart.
Then you stopped it,
for you knew it would have killed me,
and it basked in the blue pools of my elbow, where you
stroked it for a while;
then you asked it to dart, from my hips up my spine,
you asked it to wander to the tilt of my breastbone
where tickled, like a salmon, it leapt
you asked it to journey from my shoulder to my neck, to that soft place
behind my ears
where you solemnly forbade it, asked it instead to
rest for a while, and then turn back,
saying Fish, fish, my brilliant fish
and somehow I can’t
on the furthermost tip of my tongue, like a dream.
From: Signs Round a Dead Body
Is a lazy god, and all promises.
He says he will never leave,
Was a long time coming
With swallows in his air –
Waking early one morning
I watch him from the bedroom window
Barefoot on the grass,
Stalking the garden and beside himself
With all the brilliant flowers.
With soft, dry hands he soothes their heavy heads.
My children’s books, too,
That were carelessly left on the lawn all night,
Unread and ruined by the rain.
From: The Memory Tray
I’ve learnt to run, like an adult learns to sing,
the arpeggios of the body’s muscles,
the biomechanics of the human scale,
forcing a life to be suddenly spoken,
a finger pressed to an ivory key, a note that issues
from an opened mouth, as if God or the gods
were already there, endorphins pulsing through the system,
the body’s flux when contained in movement,
your hard-earned place in the world
on hold; I've learnt to take tarmac under my shoe,
to feel the spark between muscle and sinew
pushing the globe on its tilted axis,
the rib cage and its nesting heart,
ventricular walls and the pump of oxygen,
the flexion-extension of shoulder and arm
as you travel through light and a briskness of shadow,
suddenly animal, curious, terrible,
just for a moment never-grown old. . . .
It’s the cemetery I run through now,
the snow-littered pathways of ordered mayhem,
the furnishings of its strange allotment,
recording angels, bears, dogs, gnomes,
a broken vase, a fading wreathe, a votive candle
snow’s snuffed out, Our Lady of Suburbia,
a rosary entwined in sculpted fingers,
propped beside a smiling Buddha, a paper blue
chrysanthemum wilting in his hand.
Yet, through the wreckage of doggerel,
on marble, on granite, through the hum of cars
on the circling road, through the cool swathes of air
on this mist-hung morning,
a blackbird opens its feathery throat
pulling the sky and skyline closer
so hedgerow and barbed wire and railing,
the crunch of my footsteps on glistening paths,
rise up together, clash and unite,
when suddenly I stumble, hit the ground,
become myself stretched out among the graves,
the frost, a plot of orange dirt. Slumped beside me
shouldered by a gravestone,
ice keeping death alive, a woman’s ruined body,
pierced with an arrow like a fallen bird.
What is it like to know death so slowly,
hair and fingernails still growing
like Lizzie Siddall’s in the grave?
What is it like — the presence of absence —
the space you keep in that clenched right hand?
It’s a body I know from snapshots, old albums
carrying histories, other lives, other selves.
William and Mara. Mara and Will.
There at the mouth, carved like a seraph’s,
a dash, a dart, an outpost of blood.
Her eyes are ash-pits in saintly expression
like Christ’s on the cross in an incense-fuelled church,
or that woman of sorrows — the mother, the lover—?
a flash like lightning in her crow-dark hair.
I think of her now, the twist of flesh
on her stripped lean torso, remember a smile,
a forthright look. I pick myself up
and my stomach retches;
I dizzy, double over, then throw up.
The movie I’m in is black and white.
I note an absence of birdsong, the moan of the thaw.
Then the soundtrack arrests.
Was I wrong, then, I wonder, remembering this,
how a voice from on high chastens us, comforts us.