This is the one song everyone
would like to learn: the song
that is irresistible:
the song that forces men
to leap overboard in squadrons
even though they see the beached skulls
the song nobody knows
because anyone who has heard it
is dead, and the others can't remember.
Shall I tell you the secret
and if I do, will you get me
out of this bird suit?
I don't enjoy it here
squatting on this island
looking picturesque and mythical
with these two feathery maniacs,
I don't enjoy singing
this trio, fatal and valuable.
I will tell the secret to you,
to you, only to you.
Come closer. This song
is a cry for help: Help me!
Only you, only you can,
you are unique
at last. Alas
it is a boring song
but it works every time.
From Selected Poems 1965-1975. Copyright © 1974, 1976 by Margaret Atwood. Reprinted with the permission of the author and Houghton Mifflin Company.
EL CANTO DE LA SIRENA
Esta es la única canción que todos
querrían aprender: la canción
la canción que obliga a los hombres
a saltar por la borda en escuadrones
incluso viendo los cráneos en la arena
la canción que nadie conoce
porque cualquiera que la ha oído
está muerto, y los otros no pueden recordarla.
¿Debería contarte el secreto
y si lo hago, me ayudarás
a quitarme este disfraz de pájaro?
No disfruto nada aquí
acuclillada en esta isla
luciendo muy mítica y pintoresca
con estas dos locas emplumadas,
no disfruto cantando
este terceto, funesto y valiosísimo.
Voy a contarte el secreto a ti,
a ti, solamente a ti.
Acércate. Esta canción
es una llamada de auxilio: ¡Ayúdame!
Solo tú, solamente tú serás capaz,
por fin. Desgraciadamente
es una canción muy aburrida
pero siempre funciona.
Traducción de Andrés Catalán y encontrado en su blog Le Monocle de mon oncle.
Margaret Atwood, (Canada, 1939) is a poet, novelist, literary critic, essayist, environmental activist and feminist. She is a winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award and Prince of Asturias Award for Literature, has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize five times, winning once, and has been a finalist for the Governor General's Award several times, winning twice. She is also a co-founder of the Writers' Trust of Canada, a non-profit literary organization that seeks to encourage Canada's writing community.
While she is best known for her work as a novelist, she has also published fifteen books of poetry. Many of her poems have been inspired by myths and fairy tales, which have been interests of hers from an early age. Atwood has published short stories in Tamarack Review, Alphabet, Harper's, CBC Anthology, Ms., Saturday Night, and many other magazines. She has also published four collections of stories and three collections of unclassifiable short prose works.