La sirana y el pescador
La sirena se levantó del mar
para verl el mundo seco.
Ella encontró a un pescador en la playa,
esta pez guapa sin red.
Ella tenía la cola reluciente; las escamas
que cubrieron el pecho, los brazos, la cara;
la estala de las olas contruidas de encaja.
El pescador agarró la cola de sirena
y la cortó por la mitad.
"Ahora," él le dijo a ella, "tienes piernas.
¿Por qué no caminas?"
La sirena empezó a cantar al mar
para ayuda, su sangre transformando
la arena de la playa en los arcoiris.
Ella cantó al pescador, "Te perdono,
te perdono, te perdono."
– — –
The mermaid fled the ocean
searching for a better world.
A fisherman found her on the beach,
this pretty fish with no home.
He noted her oily tail; the scales
that covered her breasts, arms, and face;
the frothing waves in her wake.
The fisherman was seized with pity,
and made the mermaid a pair of legs.
"Now," he told her, "you have legs.
Will you walk with me?"
The mermaid began to sing, telling the sea
of her good fortune, transforming
the sand of the beach into rainbows.
She sang to the fisherman, "Thank you,
thank you, thank you."
– Elisa Chavez (American poet, b. ?)
It was posted at a blog by someone who only goes by the online identity "featherquillpen." I don't know much about the poet, and was unable to find much online.
This poem, and its "translation" by the same author, are, together, actually a single poem, because the translation is a painfully inaccurate, deliberate mistranslation. The Spanish part is quite sad, and is essentially the description of a brutal assault by the fisherman on the mermaid. The English part makes it seem like a voluntary experience for which the mermaid is grateful. As others commented (here), the poem is thus a kind of portrayal of the cultural disconnect between Latin American perceptions of Anglo-neocolonialism and the Anglo world's own perception of what they've done. It also is a kind of representation of the ways that American culture (broadly) is currently quite unable to grapple with sexual violence – people can't even agree on the terms of the discussion (i.e. there's mistranslation going on).
[daily log: walking, 7km]