The Life and Work of Richard E. McDorman
Friday August 1st 2014

Translation of Alfonsina Storni’s “Yo en el fondo del mar”

Yo en el fondo del mar
Alfonsina Storni
(from Mundo de siete pozos, 1934)

En el fondo del mar
hay una casa
de cristal.

A una avenida
de madréporas
da.

Una gran pez de oro,
a las cinco,
me viene a saludar.

Me trae
un rojo ramo
de flores de coral.

Duermo en una cama
un poco más azul
que el mar.

Un pulpo
me hace guiños
a través del cristal.

En el bosque verde
que me circunda
—din don…din dan…—
se balancean y cantan
las sirenas
de nácar verdemar.

Y sobre mi cabeza
arden, en el crepúsculo,
las erizadas puntas del mar.

Translation by Richard E. McDorman
© 2011

Me at the Bottom of the Sea
Alfonsina Storni
(from World of Seven Wells, 1934)

At the bottom of the sea
is a house
made of glass,

at the edge
of a coral-lined
street.

A big golden fish
comes to greet me
at five;

a red bouquet
of coral
it brings.

I sleep on a bed
a bit bluer
than the sea.

Through the glass
now an octopus
winks.

In the green forest
around me
sway mermaids who sing
—ding, dong … dong, ding—
in their nacre and aquamarine.

And above my head
glow in the twilight
the prickling pins of the sea.

 

I would like to thank poet and translator Dan Bellm, Instructor of Translation at New York University, for his kind and helpful assistance with this translation.

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