Mis poemas

1 July 2013

Philip Hodgins

EROSION AND SALINITY

What used to be a paddock
is now a kind of chart.
A deep erosion-split
runs through the middle
crooked as if the page
were being torn apart,

erratically up and down
as if that jagged line
were some financial graph
tracing the water table's
salt-productive rise
and the farmer's dry decline.

His problems all stem back
to the indiferent ease
with which the bulldozer
levelled off his topsoil
and cleared the paddock
of its water-funnel trees.

Though that started things
it's really no-one's fault.
There wasn't much around
to show how things change.
What used to be a frost
is now a covering of salt.

Up on All Fours (Pymble, NSW: Angus and Robertson, 1993).


SAL Y EROSIÓN

Lo que en su día fue un prado
es ahora un mapa.
La gran hendidura de la erosión
lo atraviesa por el centro,
retorcida, como si la página
estuviera truncada;

errática, lo recorre de una a otra punta
como si su línea dentada
fuese el gráfico de las finanzas,
que representara el alza productiva
de la sal subterránea,
y el declive en picado del granjero.

Sus penurias nacen todas
de esa indolente facilidad
con la que la excavadora
arrancó el mantillo
y despejó el prado
de los árboles que atraían el agua.

Y si bien fue sólo el principio,
en verdad de nadie es la culpa.
Nada había que nos pudiera
anunciar este cambio.
Lo que un día fue escarcha,
es ahora una costra de sal.


Aquí el artículo “Un apunte sobre poesía ecologista australiana: De Judith Wright a Samuel Wagan Watson”. En él, Jorge Salavert apunta que el poema anterior “es una de las descripciones más elocuentes de un mal que desde hace tiempo azota amplísimas zonas del continente australiano - las predicciones para 2050 señalan que el fenómeno de la salinidad de la tierra, que las hace infértiles para el cultivo además de que destruye la vegetación, afectará probablemente al 50% del país”.

Philip Hodgins (Victoria, Australia, 1959-1995). His parents were dairy farmers, and the experience of growing up on a farm in rural Australia would become central to Hodgins's poetry. He was educated in Geelong, and after leaving school worked as a sales representative for the international publishing company Macmillan. In November 1983, Hodgins was diagnosed with leukaemia, and given just three years to live; the illness proved an important spur in his decision to pursue a career as a poet. In 1986, he enrolled at the University of Melbourne as a full-time student, and the same year published his first poetry collection, Blood and Bone, which won the New South Wales Premier's Literary Award for Poetry in 1987.

Hodgins remained a prolific and much admired poet for the rest of his lifetime, publishing four further major collections: Poetry Australia (1988), Animal Warmth (1990), Up on All Fours (1993), and Things Happen (1995), and a verse novella, Dispossessed: A Tale of Modern Rural Australia (1994). A skilful exponent of traditional poetic forms, Hodgins's poetry often reflects on aspects of his personal experience, such as life and work in Australian rural communities, and on living with a terminal illness, in measured, unsentimental and sometimes stark imagery.

One of the founders of the Mildura Writers Festival in 1994, he was honoured in 1997 by the establishment of the Philip Hodgins Memorial Medal, awarded annually to a consistently outstanding Australian writer.

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