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Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Uruguay


.

Playa en la costa del Río de la Plata. Riachuelo, Uruguay: photo by Diego Landru, September 2010



An absurdly ponderous prehistoric bird that could not get off the ground and has stuck fast in the sand to rust without a cry observes us from its helpless distance. The darkened eye-slots, like those in Darth Vader's mask, or in the helmet of an Aztec ballplayer, gape blankly. The mortal combat has ended, all that remains is to wait with motionless wings for the waves to wash in upon the beach, bringing what they may bring, leaving what they may leave, and to be gradually immersed in it all.





Playa en la costa del Río de la Plata. Riachuelo, Uruguay: photo by Diego Landru, September 2010


es probable que nunca haya respuesta
pero igual seguiremos preguntando
¿qué es por ventura el mar?
¿por qué fascina el mar? ¿qué significa
ese enigma que queda
más acá y más allá del horizonte?

-- El Mar (excerpt): Mario Benedetti (1920-2009)

Photography by Diego Landro, 12 September 2010, across the Río de la Plata, on the outskirts of Colonia de Sacramento, Uruguay: via Meliora Latent (with thanks to Julia)

10 comments:

Julia said...

¡Qué buen uso de las fotos de Diego!
He liked your post very much :-)

(Sólo una corrección su apellido es Landro con "o" al final)

TC said...

Estoy muy feliz de que usted y Diego han encontrado que estas piedritas en la playa!

Muchas gracias de nuevo por las fotos grandes.

Y gracias también por ayudarnos con la ortografía (viejos ojos, letra pequeña ...)

STEPHEN RATCLIFFE said...

Tom,

Ah, Uruguay -- "and to be gradually immersed in it all" . . . .


12.7

pink cloud in pale blue sky above still
black trees, silver of planet by branch
in foreground, wave sounding in channel

vision adjusted, horizontal
surface of picture of

flatness, sensation of what
is meant, is there in

grey-white clouds against top of ridge,
shadowed green pine on tip of sandspit

curtisroberts said...

What a remarkable encounter between photographs and a poem. It's wonderful how Benedetti has annexed the universal (I guess that's an appropriate word) Darth Vader image, coordinated and aligned it with the words about the Aztec ballplayer, which a non-South or Latin American would have difficulty doing with any credibility. I wonder what the object is protruding from the ocean surface in the lower photograph? Having Steve's poem as an adjunct to the Benedetti is wonderful and both actually warm up this very, very chilly morning in the Delaware Valley.

TC said...

Curtis,

The lines between the photos are mine, inspired by the Diego Landro photos.

Darth Vader was Julia's contribution.

The spirit of this small text bears some (oblique, tangential, in my mind only) relation to a particular film, the wonderful deadpan comedy Whiskey (2004), made and set in Uruguay.

My text, it should be made plain, is NOT a translation from Benedetti, and his ghost should thus be spared any and all blame that may ever attach to it as a result of a few of his lines having drifted ashore here, beneath my text.

Benedetti's poem El Mar, of which I've quoted a snippet as epilogue to the post, is a series of questions about the unreadable messages and insoluble questions put to us by the sea. I've quoted the final stanza, which seemed so essentially rooted in the poetic of the Spanish language that I thought it best to refrain from marring the enigmatic quality with an English pony, but as it seems this omission has given rise to confusion... the gist of those lines is something like: [these questions] will probably never have answers, but we will go on asking, what's the adventure of the sea, what's its fascination, what is this enigma that remains at once nearer and farther than the horizon...?

TC said...

Steve,

Thanks for bringing some outline into the predawn obscurity (getting ready to rain again here):

pink cloud in pale blue sky above still
black trees, silver of planet by branch
__

grey-white clouds against top of ridge,
shadowed green pine on tip of sandspit

__

(Almost "half Japanese" -- ?)

Diego said...

curtisroberts, the object protruding from the back are more remains of the same wrecked ship which command bridge ruins serve as 'Darth's Vader's mask'

TC said...

Many thanks, Diego, for helping out with the reclamation project.

(The sea, as Mario Benedetti says, is always sending us these "unreadable messages"...)

ACravan said...

Got it. Thank you both (all).

STEPHEN RATCLIFFE said...

Tom,

Thanks for note, "almost half Japanese" indeed -- and raining all day here, still now as it grows dark, "golden glow" never quite made its appearance today (alas). . . .


12.8

grey of rain cloud in front of invisible
ridge, red-tailed hawk calling on branch
in foreground, sound of waves in channel

line of a thing if put, pen
and ink on wove paper

that is not this, what part
showing what, thought

silver of sunlight reflected in channel,
cloudless blue sky to the left of point