Beatriz Villacañas

Beatriz Villacañas

Beatriz Villacañas was born in Toledo. Daughter of Juan Antonio Villacañas, one of the most significant Spanish poets of the post-war period, her poetry books so far are Jazz, 1991, Allegra Byron, 1993, El Silencio está lleno de Nombres, 1995, Dublín, 2001, and El Ángel y la Física, 2005.

She has won important poetry awards such as Premio Ciudad de Toledo and Premio Bienal Internacional Eugenio de Nora, among others. She is a Doctor in English Philology and Senior Lecturer at Universidad Complutense of Madrid, where she teaches English and Irish Literature. She is also a member of the Real Academia de Bellas Artes y Ciencias Históricas of Toledo.

Beatriz has lived in Ireland and England, where she taught Spanish, and has translated poetry by Shakespeare, W.B.Yeats, Brendan Kennelly, Michael Hartnett and Seamus Heaney. Beatriz Villacañas is also a literary critic and essayist and has published numerous academic and critical articles in specialised journals and in the press. Among her books: Los Personajes Femeninos en las Novelas de Thomas Hardy, 1991, La Poesía de Juan Antonio Villacañas: Argumento de una Biografía, 2003, Mirando hacia la isla occidental: la literatura irlandesa, 2002, Literatura Irlandesa, 2007. She is also co-editor of six volumes of Estudios de la Mujer en el Ámbito de los Países de Lengua Inglesa. (Editorial Complutense, Madrid).

She has been invited poet at An Tobar/ The Well: Irish and Spanish Poets Encounters in different years in Madrid and at Féile na Bealtaine, International Poetry Festival, Dingle, 2007. BeatrizVillacañas appears in a number of national and international poetry anthologies and has lectured and given poetry readings in different centres in Spain and other countries such as Ireland and Mexico. She is a member of the Project Ciencia y Sugerencia (Science and Suggestion), which brings together poets, painters/sculptors and scientists. She has translated into English, together with the Irish poet Michael Smith, Juan Antonio Villacañas: Selected Poems, a bilingual anthology recently published by Shearsman Books, UK.

Website: http://bevillacanas.webcindario.com

 
AENEAS’ LETTER

I have left the shores of your kingdom,
the shores of your body
rescuer of the shipwrecked children of my breast.
Dido, are you calling?
Your voices are a thousand mermaids in this sea without truce.
And I don’t want to hear them, each wave
of this universe in which I sail
is a step towards the will of the gods,
ready, if necessary,
to crush each love-burning muscle
of mortals.
Wretched are these hands, wretched
this human trunk
that shelters the abyssal heart of desire.
There is nothing I can do, Dido,
in this sea of gods and white agonies,
in this sea, terrifying and beautiful,
I am guilty
of not having been a god
but just a man that now abandons you.
And this sea, this pain, this deity of water,
is a liquid knife that reaches
the most recondite bone.
This sea is our sea, Dido,
it is cradle and sepulchre of all the stories
told by its waves. And it will tell ours
in the blue fire-raising
of each dawn upon its waters.

 
CARTA DE ENEAS

He dejado las costas de tu reino,
las costas de tu cuerpo
salvador de los naúfragos niños de mi pecho.
Dido, me llamas?
Mil sirenas tus voces en este mar sin tregua.
Y yo no quiero oírlas, cada ola
de este universo en que navego
es un paso hacia el deseo de los dioses. Hacia su voluntad
dispuesta si es preciso
a aplastar cada músculo incendiado de amor
de los mortales.
Miserables mis manos,
miserable
este tronco humano
que alberga el corazón abisal de los deseos.
Nada puedo hacer, Dido,
en este mar de dioses y blancas agonías,
en este mar aterrador y bello,
culpable soy
de no haber sido un dios,
sino tan sólo un hombre que ahora te abandona.
Y este mar, este dolor, esta deidad de agua,
es un cuchillo líquido que llega
al hueso más recóndito.
Este mar es el nuestro, este mar, Dido,
es cuna y es sepulcro de todas las historias
que cuentan estas olas. Y contarán la nuesta
en el incendio azul
de cada amanecer sobre sus aguas.

 
BLUE

Blue. Thus it was born.
Like a miracle.
And silence was blue after the word.
Blue the living dream in which you lived.
Blue the light and even the darkness became blue.

Blue the animal. Blue the angel.
Blue desire. Blue thirst.
Blue the distance
and the certainty
of death
and wanting to be reborn
in the intense blue of you arms.

© Translation by Michael Smith

 
AZUL

Azul. Así nació.
Como un milagro.
Y el silencio fue azul tras la palabra.
Azul el sueño vivo en que viviste.
Azul la luz
y hasta la oscuridad azul se hizo.

Azul el animal. Azul el ángel.
El deseo fue azul.
Azul la sed.
Azul fue la distancia
y la certeza
de morir
y querer renacer en el azul intenso de tus brazos.

 
All poems on this post: © Beatriz Villacañas
Published with the permission of Beatriz Villacañas