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Poetry: Circe Maia

Circe Maia, of Uruguay, is one of the leading literary figures in contemporary Latin America. She is also a teacher of philosophy. These poems were translated by Brian Cole with the support of the author.

Red fortísima, de hilos de acero.
Afirmación y negación se enlazan
se siguen, se desprenden como gotas
de plomo derretido, que se sueltan
de las premisas, como de altos hornos.

Nadie corta estos hilos.
Nadie pellizca la piel de la lógica.

Los finísimos dedos arrojan
su red sobre las cosas.

Sin embargo
la red vuelve vacía.

If P, Then Q

A very strong net, of steel thread.
Affirmation and denial interlock,
succeed each other, separate like drops
of molten lead, which escape
from the premises, as from smelting furnaces.

No-one cuts these threads.
No-one pinches the skin of logic.

The finest fingers throw
their net over things.

the net is pulled in empty.

Objection de Simmias

(del Fedón platónico)

¿Y si el alma fuera como música
y el cuerpo la lira?
Roto uno, la otra no existe
dice Simmias.

El silencio se hace en la celda.
Los discipulos callan, inquietos.

De aquel largo silencio, todavía las olas

The Objection of Simias

(from Plato’s Phaedo )

What if the soul were like music
and the body the lyre?
One is broken, the other does not exist,
says Simias.

There is silence in the cell
The disciples are silent, anxious.

From that long silence even now the waves still splash.

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