Thursday, September 11, 2008

Warning: downer.

I was there, at Loquillo's concert, last Sunday. The song is a version of a poem that has always been a favorite of mine, especially as you can see a fragment of it at the Universidad Complutense subway station. True enough, it's probably not the best thing to read at birthdays, but still great in a depressing kind of way...


Que la vida iba en serio
uno lo empieza a comprender más tarde
-como todos los jóvenes, yo vine
a llevarme la vida por delante.

Dejar huella quería
y marcharme entre aplausos
-envejecer, morir, eran tan sólo
las dimensiones del teatro.

Pero ha pasado el tiempo
y la verdad desagradable asoma:
envejecer, morir,
es el único argumento de la obra.

-- Jaime Gil de Biedma.

(and here, a chance to use my translating wheels)


Life was in earnest –
one realizes that only later.
As with all the youngsters, I came
to take life by storm.

I wanted to leave my mark
and leave with an ovation
– to age, to die, were only
the dimensions of the theatre.

But time has gone by
and the ugly truth begins to show:
to age, to die,
is the only plot of the play.


Inglesia said...

Hi Elena,

I used your translation of this poem on my own blog (and linked yours!), thank you.

(BTH, how the hell did you learn that great English of yours?)

Elena said...


well thanks for the compliment... I studied English Philology and lived abroad in different places for a while, so I guess it rubbed off :)