sábado, 12 de septiembre de 2015

LIZ BERRY [17.049]


Liz Berry nació en Black Country y ahora vive en Birmingham. Recibió un Premio Eric Gregory en 2009, un Mentorship Arvon-Jerwood en 2011 y ganó el concurso de Poesía de Londres en 2012. Su plaquette The Patron Saint of Schoolgirls fue publicada por Tall Lighthouse en 2010. Liz trabaja como asistente editor de poesía en Ambit revista. Su primera colección, Black Country (Chatto & Windus, 2014), fue una recomendación Poetry Book Society y ganó el Premio Forward Prize for Best First Collection 2014.

Liz Berry was born in the Black Country and now lives in Birmingham. She received an Eric Gregory Award in 2009, an Arvon-Jerwood Mentorship in 2011 and won the Poetry London competition in 2012. Her pamphlet The Patron Saint of Schoolgirls was published by Tall Lighthouse in 2010. Her poems have appeared in many magazines and anthologies, been broadcast on BBC Radio and recorded for the Poetry Archive. Liz’s debut collection, Black Country (Chatto & Windus, 2014), was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, received a Somerset Maugham Award and won the Forward Prize for Best First Collection 2014. Black Country was chosen as a book of the year by The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Mail, The Big Issue and The Morning Star.


Los transeúntes lo vieron primero, enorme
sobre la ladera por la A41,
un Pegaso sin alas, las pezuñas
pateando la carretera a distancia.
Había aparecido durante la noche.
Una negra sombra en los matorrales,
galopando por encima de las puertas
de las fábricas en ruinas,
mirando hacia el este, hacia los pozos,
la boca abierta como si pudiera
tragarse el sol que se elevaba
por detrás del artilugio de las alas.
Se corrió la voz. Se congregaron multitudes.
Niños, dijo alguien,
pero cuando examinaron sus flancos
encontraron carbón puro,
carbón donde no había sido extraído
desde hacía años, donde las casas
todavía corren el riesgo de que las traguen pozos vacíos
y las colinas están surcadas por cicatrices.
Un regalo del subsuelo,
acarreando el pasado
de la tierra muerta. Ancianos
arrodillados por respirar el humo
de las emanaciones, un susurro
en sus oídos, alejándose
en silencio, los puños apretados,
las caras cubiertas de lágrimas.

Versión de Carlos Alcorta

Birmingham Roller
“We spent our lives down in the blackness… those birds brought us up to the light.”
(Jim Showell – Tumbling Pigeons and the Black Country)

Wench, yowm the colour of ower town:
concrete, steel, oily rainbow of the cut.
Ower streets am in yer wings,
ower factory chimdeys plumes on yer chest,
yer heart’s the china ower owd girls dust
in their tranklement cabinets.
Bred to dazzlin in backyards by men
whose onds grew soft as feathers
just to touch you, cradle you from egg
through each jeth-defying tumble.
Little acrobat of the terraces,
we’m winged when we gaze at you
jimmucking the breeze, somersaulting through
the white breathed prayer of January
and rolling back up like a babby’s yo-yo
caught by the open donny of the clouds.

Black Country/Standard
wench/affectionate name for a female
yowm/ you are
cut/ canal
tranklement/bits & bobs or ornaments
jimmucking/ shaking
babby/ little child

The Patron Saint of School Girls
Agnes had her lamb and her black curls;
Bernadette, her nun’s frock;
but I was just a school girl,
glimpsed the holy spirit in the blue flare
of a Bunsen burner, saw a skeleton
weep in a biology lesson.
My miracles were revelations.
I saved seventeen girls from a fire that rose
like a serpent behind the bike sheds,
cured the scoliosis of a teacher
who hadn’t lifted her head to sing a hymn
in years. I fed the dinner hall
on one small cake and a carton of milk.
A cult developed. The Head Girl
kissed my cheek in the dark-room,
first years wrote my name
on the flyleaf of their hymn books,
letters appeared in my school bag,
a bracelet woven from a blonde plait.
My faith grew strong.
All night I lay awake hearing prayers
from girls as far as Leeds and Oxford,
comprehensives in Nottingham.
I granted supplications for A-levels,
pleas for the cooling of unrequited love,
led a sixth form in Glasgow to unforeseen triumph
in the hockey cup final.
Love flowed out of me like honey
from a hive, I was sweet with holiness,
riding home on the school bus,
imparting my blessings.
I was ready for wings,
to be lifted upwards like sun streaming
through the top deck windows;
to wave goodbye to school and disappear
in an astonishing ring of brightness.

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