Coronablogus 5

Please read this poem by Simon Armitage if you’ve got time (which maybe you have now). It’s called ‘Lockdown’. The poem itself is really beautiful, I think, but the article gives the poet’s reference points, which are also interesting. Obviously only posting this to English speakers. Only yesterday I was reading Borges on the impossibility of  the‘right’ translation.

Lockdown: Simon Armitage writes poem about coronavirus outbreak https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/mar/21/lockdown-simon-armitage-writes-poem-about-coronavirus-outbreak?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

Meanwhile, planting potatoes and tomatoes, beans and peas while my mother’s voice rings in my ears. ‘Cheer up. The worst is yet to come.’ She got this from Mark Twain when she was a student in the US just when Pearl Harbour happened in World War II. She taught it to me from the time I could speak English. So it’s been with me most of my life. Never so relevant as now. By the way, Mark Twain wrote these words in a letter to his wife in 1894 after declaring himself bankrupt.

Coronablogus 5

Mientras tanto, estamos plantando papas y tomates, habas y guisantes mientras la voz de mi madre suena en mis oídos. ‘Alegrarse. Lo peor está por venir.’ Ella descubrió la cita de Mark Twain cuando era estudiante en los Estados Unidos justo cuando Pearl Harbor sucedió en la Segunda Guerra Mundial. Me lo enseñó desde el momento en que yo empezaba a entender inglés. Pues las palabras me han acompañado casí toda mi vida. Son mas relevantes que nunca. A propósito, Mark Twain lo escribió en una carta a su mujer 1894 tras declararse arruinado.