Ithaca 710: Pastime – MARIO BENEDETTI / Translation Germain Droogenbroodt – Stanley Barkan from “Antología poética”, Alianza Editorial, Madrid

 
Painting by Patrick von Kalckreuth, Germany (1892-1970)
 
 
PASTIME
 
When we were kids,
the old men were about thirty,
a puddle was an ocean
death flat and even—
didn’t exist.
 
Then when we were teens,
old men were people in their forties,
a pond was an ocean—
death only
a word
 
By the time we got married,
the old people were in their fifties,
a lake was an ocean—
death was the death
of the others.
 
Now veterans,
we’ve caught up with the truth,
the ocean is at last the ocean—
but death starts
to be ours.
 
MARIO BENEDETTI, Uruguay (1920 – 2009)
 
Translation Germain Droogenbroodt – Stanley Barkan
from “Antología poética”, Alianza Editorial, Madrid
 

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