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Silvia Antonia Brandon

If it were up to me

If it were up to me
I would live where you live
in a small dark corner of your soul
mornings I would water
the roses and the poppies,
and even the wild flowers that grow
on the banks of your rememberings
to the left, after you pass
the bridge of adversity
(in the blue room, the one you had
sealed off until I arrived like a tropical cyclone,
and you opened the windows...)

if it were up to me, I would embed myself
in your left ventricle
that I might be part
of the skein of your illusions
I would stroll through the red of your blood,
and to your lungs bring orange blossoms,
fragrant carnations, honeysuckle
I would breathe the air of your days,
the jazmin of your nights
would request unlimited passport,
walk here, there,
hallucinated traveler,
through your interiors
eternal passenger
in the train of your dreams

if it were up to me
you would never go away
we would become the horror,
the shame of our children
the laughter of the old,
the song of the nightingale
if it were up to me, my god, my love,
my lord
if it were up to me

si por mi fuera

si por mi fuera viviría allí donde tú vives
en una esquinita oscura de tu alma
y en las mañanas regaría las rosas y las amapolas,
y hasta las flores silvestres que crecen
a las orillas de tus recordares
a la izquierda, pasando el puente de tus sinsabores
(en el cuarto azul, aquel que habías clausurado hasta que yo llegué
como ciclón del trópico, y abriste las ventanas...)

si por mi fuera, me incrustaría en tu ventrículo izquierdo
para ser parte de la madeja de tus ilusiones
me pasearía por el rojo de tu sangre, y a tus pulmones
llevaría azahares, claveles fragantes, madreselva
respiraría el aire de tus días, el jazmín de tus noches
pediría pasaporte ilimitado, andaría por ahí,
viajera alucinada, en tus interioridades
pasajera eterna en el tren de tus sueños

si por mi fuera no te apartarías nunca
seríamos el horror, la vergüenza de los hijos
la risa de los ancianos, el canto del ruiseñor
si por mi fuera, mi dios, mi amor, mi dueño
si por mi fuera

September, 1999

"If it were up to me" originally appeared in the September/October, 1999 issue of Eclectica Magazine.

Silvia Antonia Brandon's Questions:

I write in Spanish as well as English. This is translated from the Spanish, and I have appended the original version in Spanish. Spanish is much more florid, in particular in love poetry. I want to know whether it 'works' in English.

Silvia Antonia, I read your poem in English before reaching your questions. I think it works; you are able to create the inner life inside your beloved in such a way to make it credible. Your mingling realistic imagery with, bllod, the heart and, then, flowers, the bank of the river, the blue room: effective and convincing. A very good love poem, the very essence of love: to live one inside the other. I also read your original version in Spanish. Yes, Spanish is more passionate, the same sounds acquire and add intensity. You did a great job with this translation. I too write both in Italian and English, but can't translate my own creations; the poems thought and felt in English are somehow different from the Italian ones, thus I have given up all attempts to translate and write according to the voice I hear and the language it speaks. Your two versions do work and you were able to keep the impact of the original. Thank you for this double enjoyment. Paula
Paula Grenside
Italy - Fri Sep 24 21:29:27 1999

Silvia Yes, its lovely in english - I don't know spanish, but can read it and glean a bit from it, knowning french. I do see the beauty of the love and flow of sound and phrasing in the spanish, and I see the difference in english, but it is a flowing lilting piece in english on its own. There is a tension of passion built up in the last third or more that carries the dreamer along, and like Paula the images are convincing. The only thing I wanted to see was fewer articles in the english - you can cut a few "the" s and a "that" here and there which break up the flow of sound, in my opinion only, a bit. Thanks for this. Cheryl Higgins
USA - Sat Sep 25 08:57:18 1999
Paula and Cheryl, I am so glad the poem worked for both of you. It is difficult to translate one's own work, and although I think the bilingual helps the poetry in both languages (adds spice, musicality and color to the English and cuts down the melodrama in the Spanish), it is always hard to know just what works and what does not.
Silvia Antonia Brandon Pérez
USA - Mon Oct 4 17:42:40 1999

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