A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.




 

Milonga - la Cruz del Sur
Monday, March 13, 2017







Milonga – Julio Cortázar

Extraño la Cruz del Sur
cuando la sed me hace alzar la cabeza
para beber tu vino negro medianoche,
y extraño las esquinas con almacenes dormilones
donde el perfume de la yerba tiembla en la piel  del aire.

Comprender que eso está siempre allá
como un bolsillo donde a cada rato
la mano busca una moneda el cortapluma el peine
la mano infatigable de una oscura memoria
que encuentra sus muertos.

La Cruz del Sur el mate amargo,
y las voces de amigos
usándose con otros.



(Cuando  escribí este poema todavía quedaban amigos en mi tierra; después los mataron o se perdieron en un silencioso burocrático o jubilatorio, se fueron silenciosos a vivir  al Canadá o a Suecia o están desaparecidos y sus nombres son apenas nombres de una interminable lista. Los dos últimos versos del poema están limados por el presente: ya ni siquiera puedo imaginar las  voces de esos amigos hablando con otras gentes. Ojalá fuera así. ¿Pero de qué estarían hablando, si hablan?)
( De Cortazar.)

In the above explanation for his short poem Milonga Cortázar explains from his self exile in France that many of his friends in Argentina were killed or simply disappeared. Some quietly moved abroad to escape the military regime of the 70s. What is interesting to note is that Cortázar exiled himself in 1951 because he did not like Perón's regime. He returned years later after Peron's second coming and promptly left. Cortázar was a man who could not accept either Peronism or the military regimes that disappeared people. In his later life he came to admire Fidel Castro and Che Guevara. Cortázar wrote a startling short story Reunión which appeared in his volume Todos los fuegos el fuego (1966) in which the narrating protagonist is Che himself.

In a 2004 first edition of Julio Cortázar's complete short stories (I recently purchased the 2016 ninth edition) Mario Vargas Llosa wites a loving and longish introduction. If you consider that Llosa and Cortázar were miles appart politically, you can imagine what a startling but acertado choice that was. The introduction finishes like this (my transalation and note that Cortázar dabbled with the trumpet):


Every now and then I can hear a trumpet being untuned. There is nobody around. Therefore the sounds comes out from that poster in the living room where a thin and beardless boy, with a German-style haircut and a short-sleeved shirt - the Julio Cortázar that I knew - plays his favourite game.

Of the trumpet Cortázar said: 
"Sí, en verdad toco la trompeta, pero sólo como desahogo. Soy pésimo". 

Yes, it is true I play the trumpet but only to unwind. I am terrible"(my translation)




     

Previous Posts
Las líneas de la mano - Julio Cortázar

I TOOK my power in my hand

Jorge Luís Borges - So that our hands would meet

Sandrine Cassini On My Red Psychiatric Couch

A SPIDER sewed at night - Emily Dickinson

Satin Doll

La Cama

On Hinges and Doors

The Paris Opera Ballet & Alonso King Lines Ballet

Hard Lace



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10/9/16 - 10/16/16

10/16/16 - 10/23/16

10/23/16 - 10/30/16

10/30/16 - 11/6/16

11/6/16 - 11/13/16

11/13/16 - 11/20/16

11/20/16 - 11/27/16

11/27/16 - 12/4/16

12/4/16 - 12/11/16

12/11/16 - 12/18/16

12/18/16 - 12/25/16

12/25/16 - 1/1/17

1/1/17 - 1/8/17

1/8/17 - 1/15/17

1/15/17 - 1/22/17

1/22/17 - 1/29/17

1/29/17 - 2/5/17

2/5/17 - 2/12/17

2/12/17 - 2/19/17

2/19/17 - 2/26/17

2/26/17 - 3/5/17

3/5/17 - 3/12/17

3/12/17 - 3/19/17

3/19/17 - 3/26/17

3/26/17 - 4/2/17

4/2/17 - 4/9/17

4/9/17 - 4/16/17

4/16/17 - 4/23/17

4/23/17 - 4/30/17

4/30/17 - 5/7/17

5/7/17 - 5/14/17

5/14/17 - 5/21/17

5/21/17 - 5/28/17

5/28/17 - 6/4/17

6/4/17 - 6/11/17

6/11/17 - 6/18/17

6/18/17 - 6/25/17

6/25/17 - 7/2/17

7/2/17 - 7/9/17

7/9/17 - 7/16/17

7/16/17 - 7/23/17

7/23/17 - 7/30/17

7/30/17 - 8/6/17

8/6/17 - 8/13/17

8/13/17 - 8/20/17

8/20/17 - 8/27/17

8/27/17 - 9/3/17

9/3/17 - 9/10/17

9/10/17 - 9/17/17

9/17/17 - 9/24/17

9/24/17 - 10/1/17

10/1/17 - 10/8/17

10/8/17 - 10/15/17

10/15/17 - 10/22/17