Escribir viene del latín scribere y éste de una raíz indoeuropea skribh- relacionada con la idea de rayar. Antes de la tinta y pluma, para escribir se hacían incisiones sobre barro fresco o sobre tablas de madera cubiertas de cera.

Escribir se parece a traducir.

La palabra traducir viene del latín traducere y significa hacer pasar de un idioma a otro. Está compuesta por el prefijo trans- (de un lado a otro) y ducere (guiar). Traducir es reescribir.

Si traducir es hacer pasar de un idioma al otro, escribir es pasar de la experiencia al texto. ¿Pero qué es eso que pasa? ¿Es un líquido el contenido? Pasa de un recipiente a otro y asume la forma de un nuevo recipiente; el recipiente lo contiene, pero al mismo tiempo lo proyecta a una nueva forma de interpretación. Contenido y recipiente resultan en una unidad inextricable: abierta a ser leída, reinterpretada y reescrita. 

El recurso al escribir y traducir es la palabra escrita. Sin embargo, las palabras escritas son también símbolos y prismas que sólo significan a partir de sus relaciones con el contexto (que está fuera del espacio de lo escrito) y con las otras palabras (que coexisten en el texto). Estas relaciones son dinámicas y se reactualizan con cada lectura. 

El poema “Monet’s water lilies”,  de Robert Hayden (1913-1980), se construye a partir de la referencia a una serie de cuadros pintados por Claude Monet (1840-1926) a lo largo de su vida. En este poema, el autor crea un modo de contemplación serena mientras construye otras referencias vinculadas a violentos conflictos sociales en el siglo XX. La mención de Selma, ciudad del estado de Alabama, alude a los conflictos raciales; en Selma se iniciaron varias marchas en favor de los derechos civiles de la población negra durante la década de 1960, algunas fuertemente reprimidas. La mención de Saigón alude a la guerra de Vietnam. Estas experiencias de la historia occidental se elaboran desde una voz que reinterpreta el impresionismo de la tradición pictórica y lo traduce a la lengua poética.

En el siguiente enlace, se puede escuchar el poema en inglés y la traducción al español:

Monet’s water lillies

Today as the news from Selma and Saigon
poisons the air like fallout,
I come again to see
the serene, great picture that I love.

Here space and time exist in light
the eye like the eye of faith believes.

The seen, the known
dissolve in iridescence, become
illusive flesh of light
that was not, was, forever is.

O light beheld as through refracting tears.
Here is the aura of that world
each of us has lost.

Here is the shadow of its joy
Los nenúfares de Monet

Hoy, mientras las noticias de Selma y Saigón
envenenan el aire como lluvia radioactiva,
vuelvo a ver
el lienzo sereno e imponente que amo.

Ahí el espacio y el tiempo existen en la luz,
el ojo cree como el ojo de la fe.

Lo visto, lo conocido,
se disuelven en iridescencia, se vuelven
ilusoria carne de luz
que no fue, fue, es para siempre.

O luz refractada como a través de lágrimas.

Ahí está el aura de ese mundo
que cada uno de nosotros perdió.
Ahí está la sombra de su dicha.

“El ojo” es un poema publicado en el libro Personas (Biota, 2015). También elabora una experiencia: la maternidad. Apela a la gramática de Hayden. Una forma de contemplar distanciada, que sin embargo construye un espacio para la emotividad. También alude a las referencias de una tradición pictórica: el cuadro “Amanecer con monstruos marinos”, de Joseph Mallard William Turner (1845).

En el siguiente enlace se puede escuchar el poema:

El ojo 

La luz es 
inestabilidad.  
El cuerpo se mece, 
en el vaivén pierde el equilibrio. 
El centro de gravedad cambia
y quedan los surcos. 
Gestar, 
parir, 
amamantar.
Con el tiempo, 
el tono más recrudecido se diluye. 
La conciencia se deja seducir.
La luz refracta otra intensidad:
el vínculo es 
efecto de la cicatriz,
surge del halo  
y se proyecta  
desde el corte en la carne. 
La confusa aventura  
de zambullirse en el cuerpo y nacer 
tiene rumbo inexacto.  
La luz se vuelve ese mar. 
Enorme ojo oculto en las sombras. 
Y es como contemplar un amanecer 
con monstruos marinos. 

Ambos textos implican una inversión de los términos. Si los conflictos sociales y la guerra se piensan como dolor y caos, el poema los trae a la memoria a partir de la visión de un cuadro que inspira quietud y sosiego. Si la maternidad suele imponerse como la visión de una experiencia idílica, el poema apela a un cuadro turbulento y confuso. Contenido y forma narran, pero no todo. El sentido se completa en la imagen construida por quien lee.

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