Monday, July 11, 2016

Boats (Monday Poem)

by Alberto Blanco
translated by Judith Infante

A poem is a boat built of wood
and made by your own hands:
it's fragile, it's small,
but it can carry you as far
as the wind wants.

A poem is a boat built of wood
to drift with the flow,
until you come to a remote island
and decide to live there

A poem is a paper boat
made of your own words:
everything in your life fits
in the spaces formed by its folds
and its colors.

A poem is a paper boat 
to set sailing across
the lake of your days
and the nighttime pond
of your fondest dreams.

A boy is a small boat made of wood:
his oars are his hands,
the sails, his mind.

A girl is a small boat made of paper;
her shape is half a star
and her reflection the other part.

Life is a boat built of wood
sheltered by a dream .  . . . 
but it's the water too, where it floats,
and wind that sweeps it along,
and imagination that propels it.

Life is a paper boat . . .
but it's also a sad garden
and scarred crystals in a small lake
that reflect our globe
with all its shadows.

from The Tree is Older Than You Are: A Bilingual Gathering of Poems & Stories from Mexico with Paintings by Mexican Artists,
Selected by Naomi Shihab Nye, 1995, Simon & Schuster

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