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Thursday, 12 July 2012

José Agustín Goytisolo: The hour of the fox / La hora del zorro


File:Spiral Orb Webs.jpg

Spiral orb webs showing some colours in the sunlight in a gorge in Karijini National Park, Western Australia, Australia: photo by Bjørn Christian Tørrissen, 28 November 2008

Night and its cortège
Spiders the pane
Don't open the window
It's only the wind.
Take refuge
In yourself and run from
Memories that compel
You toward a past
That doesn't exist.
For it's then
The hour of the fox
To drag you one more time
Back into this life.


Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes), male, Top Of The World Highway, Near Boundary, Yukon: photo by Alan D. Wilson, 2007

La noche y su cortejo.
araña el cristal: no abras
es el viento.
Refugiáte en ti mismo
y huye de evocaciones que te empujan
a un tiempo que no existe.
Porque luego
llega la hora del zorro
la hora de salir
y meterte otra vez en esta vida.

Dawn Moon: photo by Tom Raworth, 31 May 2010

José Agustín Goytisolo (1928-1999): La hora del zorro, from Elegías a Julia Gay, 1993; English version by TC


Anonymous said...

muchas gracias Tom por el poema y por la traducción..."la hora del zorro" encanta..!!

TC said...

Y gracias a ti, Sandra.
Tú nos has traído hasta aquí.

Susan Kay Anderson said...

Fast poem that looks like it would be slow or take an hour to read. Reading it, it disappears like the fox grabbing and tugging it away. Strong like twin spider webs. The universe. Which one is which?

Anonymous said...

quisiera pedir permiso para poner ambos poemas en mi página...!



Such an hour, such a red fox beside The Top Of The World Highway, such a dawn moon across The Pond


light coming into fog against invisible
ridge, two crows calling back and forth
in foreground, sound of wave in channel

reaching at something, hand
is together with word

moment, viewers to enter it,
face the part of what

grey white fog against invisible ridge,
cormorant flapping across toward point

TC said...


Por supuesto.


reaching at something, hand
is together with word


I think it's the cortège makes it slow. Nothing like a grave (digger's) accent to turn a simple retinue into a funeral train.

But whatever gets you through the night piece...

Also, looking a bit closer now at the collapsed-vein tunnel rubble, it can be detected that someone has perhaps been stepping a bit hard on the pedal, in that penultimate line, with "drag".

(As in, by the scruff of the neck, much as a recalcitrant Dickens or for that matter Lewis Hines urchin, might dragged, to school hopefully, but to court more probably, by the collar.)

Again for the slowness.

Hazen said...

Que hermoso es ese zorro
que viene una vez mas
a acompañarme
guiarme quizas
a la portada
de un dia tan transparente
donde la luna amanece

TC said...

Ese zorro es un espíritu vigilante. Se está manteniendo un ojo en ti desde la esquina superior izquierda de esta página.

TC said...

And re. slowness...

On the other side, true dispatch is a rich thing. For time is the measure of business, as money is of wares; and business is bought at a dear hand, where there is small dispatch. The Spartans and Spaniards have been noted to be of small dispatch; Mi venga la muerte de Spagna; Let my death come from Spain; for then it will be sure to be long in coming.

Francis Bacon: Of Dispatch

Susan Kay Anderson said...

The bear
fox fur
color of
spider webs
and Dawn Moon
two years ago

TC said...

Bears and foxes and spiders have a different sense of time and how would we know about that, the vigils, the spinning, the hibernation. Slowness.

They don't die of depression or unhappiness unless cruelly held captive like those party bears. A fox being chased by hounds might die of terror but not of unhappiness. It is difficult to imagine a depressed spider. Though earlier tonight I was looking at some webs spun by drugged spiders in "experiments". That's science for you, feed high doses of caffeine to a spider and then take pictures of the fucked up webs. Speed up the spiders, deprive them of their natural slowness, observe them at their labours, maniacally spinning jagged designs that look a bit like "spiderweb"-patterned bullet-shattered glass. (They give grants for that.)

The ending for this Spanish poet was not slow but sudden though it did come from and in his native land... if, that is, Catalunya be considered a part of Spain.

(The book this poem comes from is an elegiac remembrance of his mother, Julia Gay, who died in Francoist bombing. The poet passed her name on to his own daughter.)

El suicidio del poeta José Agustín Goytisolo deja huérfana a la poesía social española (1999)

But then, this later bit from the web suggests a different spin:

La muerte de José Agustín Goytisolo: ¿Suicidio o accidente? (2011)

TC said...

(Interesting comments with that blog bit by the way.)

Anonymous said...

José A Goytisolo is one of my favourite poets
this is a poem dedicated to "Goytisolo" in my book "Lluvia"

"confudido en el aire quieto
olvidé todas tus palabras
su débil huella. Lo que fue
se deshizo como una rosa",
tus palabras me tocan tan hondo
tu libro se desliza al suelo
mis ojos casi cerrados
y pienso en el final, deseando
enfrentarlo en forma parecida.

Anonymous said...

love the pics!!

Wooden Boy said...

"Someone/Spiders the pane" That's a line with the quiet horrors in it!

I love the oneiric shifts of this poem. The lures and the fears of sleeplessness are here.

TC said...

Yes, the poem seems to inhabit that vague zone between dream and waking, when consciousness itself might spider the pane with an uncommon dread in anticipation... of one is never sure nor can later quite remember what. (The not being sure and the later not quite remembering would then be small mercies.)

The alert fox of the conscious mind chases off these arachnoid notions, but they may be counted on to return again, with their dark exacting processions of intuition, imagination and almost-thought.