Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Alfonsina Storni, The Rosebush's Restlessness

This Spanish-language poet is a new discovery for me, though she's very famous in Argentina and among Spanish readers. This little poem was also the title poem of her first book, which she later seems to have put down or disowned —

At 19... I write my first book of verses, an awful book of verses. May God spare you, my friend, from La inquietud del rosal (The Restlessness of the Rose Bush)! ... I wrote it to survive. (Alfonsina Storni, in a letter from 1938)

Anyway, here it is in English. I don't doubt there will be more to follow as her work is quite gripping.

Spanish is richer in rhyme than English so the echo in my lines is minimal.

Alfonsina Storni 
The Rosebush’s Restlessness 
The rosebush with its restless way of blooming
is burning up the sap that stokes its being.
Just look at the roses dropping from the bush:
So many it will drive the plant to death!
The rosebush is no grown-up and in its haste
to give out flowers its impatient life is spent. 
                                                        [trans. Tracy Ryan]

Storni, from https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2982483

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