jueves, 28 de abril de 2016

MONIZA ALVI [18.557]

Moniza Alvi

Nació en Lahore, Pakistán,  el 2 de febrero de 1954. Es una poeta y escritora paquistaní-británica. Actualmente vive en Londres.

Moniza Alvi nació en Lahore, Pakistán. Nació de padre paquistaní y madre británica. Su padre se trasladó a Hatfield, Hertfordshire en Inglaterra cuando tenía unos pocos meses de edad.  No volvió a Pakistán hasta después de la publicación de uno de sus primeros libros de poemas - El País en mi hombro. Trabajó durante varios años como profesor de secundaria, pero ahora es una escritora independiente y tutora, que viven en Norfolk. Ella y su marido, Robert, tienen una hija.


Carrying my Wife (Bloodaxe, 2000) ISBN 978-1-85224-537-5
Souls (Bloodaxe, 2002) ISBN 978-1-85224-585-6
How the Stone Found Its Voice (Bloodaxe, 2005) ISBN 978-1-85224-694-5
Split World: Poems 1990-2005 (Bloodaxe, 2008) ISBN 978-1-85224-802-4


The Poetry Quartets 6 with George Szirtes, Michael Donaghy and Anne Stevenson (Bloodaxe / British Council 2001) ISBN 978-1-85224-519-1


Si miro fijo al país durante suficiente tiempo
puedo palanquearlo fuera del papel,
levantarlo como un colgajo de piel.

A veces es un calendario de Adviento
cada ciudad tiene una ventana
la cual dejo abierta
un poco más cada vez

La India es manejable- más pequeña
que mi mano, el Río Mahanadi
más delgado que mi línea de la vida.

Traducción:  Robert Rivas 

Map of India

If I stare at the country long enough
I can prise it off the paper,
lift it like a flap of skin.
Sometimes it's an advent calendar -
each city has a window
which I leave open
a little wider each time.
India is manageable - smaller than
my hand, the Mahanadi River
thinner than my lifeline.


We had waited through so many lifetimes
for the stone to speak, wondered if

it would make compelling pronouncements,
anything worth writing down. 

Then after the war of wars 
had ground to a shattering halt, the stone

emitted a small grinding sound rather like
the clearing of a throat.

Let us be indifferent to indifference, 
the stone said.

And then the world spoke.


I observed that her knuckles were raw
with the effort of knocking on doors.

And if they opened she’d have difficulty
passing through – the awkwardness

of easing in with her world intact.
More than once I implored her to give up.

But I admired my wife, in a way – 
the single-mindedness, her fierce pursuit.

She worked attentively, whenever she could, 
at her listening skills, honing them

by day and night
on the creaking of a far-off door.


Part 3: Better By Far 

By bus?

Better by far a magic carpet,
finely knotted, richer

than blood, broad enough
to keep the family together,

islanded, apart
from every danger,

journeying swiftly
across the unsegmented sky –

not in the cauldron of summer,
but in the fresher feel

of the last of winter,
the lucid mornings,

the greeny tinge
of the evening air,

Nehru to wave them on
and Jinnah to welcome them –

my grandmother, her pots and pans,
her lamp close by,

her parcels of layered clothes,
like mattresses,

Ahmed and Athar jostling for space,
Rahila, Jamila, Shehana,

the ‘little’ sisters,
a conspiracy of three,

with names, like mine
all ending in ‘a’, young girls,

cross-legged, daydreaming,
disentangling hello from goodbye.


Part 4: Ever After

Ever after
she heard it as an echo

in her inner ear, disembodied,
as, in a sense, all voices are –

We’ll take him, Shakira.
He can travel with us.

You’ve enough on your hands
with the other four.

There are places still
on the second bus, inshallah!

At that swollen moment
there was a shadowy unburdening

because at that time, perhaps
any child was a burden.

How she would wish
as the weeks and the months 

and the lifetimes churned on
to undo Take him,

to force back the heavy, rusted
hands of the clock –

God’s clock held by God’s hands
in permanent view.


Say your goodbyes, ticked the clock.
No time to lose. 

But who was left for goodbyes –
her Hindu friends, the friends of friends?

A stream drying up.


How to say it?

It was hard to sit on a cane-seated chair
on her old verandah and sip tea,

the conversation curdling
like milk for the weekly paneer.

Tomorrow we will be gone.

The risk of departing
and the risk of remaining 

weighing much the same.


Was the worst goodbye to the house?

The house was her second skin,
hardier than her first,

an island in the deafening, tumultuous sea.

She was married to its daily rhythms –
the kneading, the sweeping, the praying . . . 

Under duress,
it was dauntingly calm.


And Ludhiana itself, the Old City
and the New –

the Civil Lines with their flowering trees. 
The Christian Medical Hospital.

The cloth factories and the temples.
The neighbourliness of the lanes. Her lanes.

Bleeding internally, the city
tried to appear whole

for a final goodbye –


as, they would gather and wait
appear whole

under Hindu sun and Moslem rain
Hindu rain and Moslem sun.


Nothing was wrong with the clock.
The clock ticked on.


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