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Callaloo 24.4 (2001) 1122-1123



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Merceditas

Nancy Morejón


(In memory of Merceditas Valdés)
--for Luis Carbonell

Watch her go by in yellow
just like a sunflower,
the color of egg yolk
and wheat.
Perfumed hummingbird,
her little feet
embroider the stones
of the sleeping street.
Watch how she goes
singing alone
in a little ship
of honey and gourds.
And the desolate bees
sketching her reborn
face.
Merceditas!
cries the white moon.
Merceditas
isn't an unexpected shadow
or even a shadow at all
or a dream
but a voice cut down just now
and what a voice,
what a shadow,
what an interrupted dream.
Merceditas!
the white moon cries again. [End Page 1122]
Watch her go by in yellow
just like a sunflower,
the color of egg yolk
and wheat.
Perfumed hummingbird,
her little feet
embroider the stones
of the sleeping street.
Mounted on a peacock of seafoam
she goes galloping over Cuba.
Watch her!
There she goes
in her coral of fixed suns,
in her coral of sacred feathers,
in her brilliance of wise spirits,
in her splendor of sleeping bracelets.
Merceditas!
cries the impassioned moon.
Watch her go by in yellow
just like a sunflower,
the color of egg yolk
and wheat.
Perfumed hummingbird,
her little feet
embroider the stones
of the sleeping street
and a mantle of fine gold
falling forever
over the brief waters of the river.

Miramar, March 7, 1998
--Translated by Steven F. White



Nancy Morejón, Cuban scholar and poet, is Director of Caribbean Studies at Cuba's premier cultural studies institute, Casa de las Americas. She is the author of Mutismos (1962), Amor, cíudad atribuída (1964), Richard trajo se flauta (1967), Parajes de una época (1979), Poemas (1980), Elogio de la danza (1982), Octubre imprescindible (1983), and Cuarderno de Granada (1984), in addition to critical works focusing particularly on Cuban poet Nicolás Guillén (1974) and translations of poems by Paul Eluard, Jacques Roumain and Aimé Césaire.

Steven F. White's study and translations of contemporary Afro-Brazilian poetry have appeared in Callaloo 18.4, 19.1, and 20.1. He is the co-author with Edimilson de Almeida Pereira of "Brazil: Analysis of the Interactions and Conflicts in a Multicultural Society" in Cultural Cartographies: Comparative Studies in Race, Ethnicity and Nationhood. He also translated the subtitles for the feature-length film Cruz e Sousa: O Poeta do Desterro (1999) by Brazilian director Sylvio Back. White's CD Transversions (2001) includes his translations set to music of poetry by Latin American and Spanish writers. His most recent volume of poetry is Fire that Engenders Fire/Fuego que engendra fuego. He teaches at St. Lawrence University.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1080-6512
Print ISSN
0161-2492
Pages
p. 1124
Launched on MUSE
2001-11-01
Open Access
No
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