AE


 

 

Of the same author:

 

IF FOR TELLING THE TRUTH...
      (1963)

POESIA
      (1963)

MY FATHER'S HOUSE
      (1963)

SHOUTING ON ZORROTZA WHARF
      (1963)

 

 

Gabriel Aresti

    (1933-1975)

 

Born into a nationalist non-Basque-speaking family in Bilbao. At fourteen he began to study Basque on his own, reading the classics in the City Library and listening to popular verse improvisers. His poetry evolved from the symbolism of his youth to the social criticism of his later years. He exerted an enormous influence of the youth of the 60s and 70s. His work Harri eta Herri (Stone and Country, 1964) is the foundational book of Basque modern civil poetry. He was critical, indulged in controversy and broke the myth of the «Basque believer». He openly stated his left-wing ideas, and also contributed to the updating of song-singing and drama... His death, which coincided with the end of the Franco regime, closed a period of Basque literature.

 


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LET'S BREAK THE CHAIN

        Gabriel Aresti , 1963

 

 

                Let's break the chain

                Let's sing together

                This is a «fandango»

                Long live Berango

 

Like many others in the world

I'm a corn on the cob

Yesterday I got bored

With teachers and schools.

 

Because I am a poet,

I don't expect any heaven.

I have nine songs,

Four serious and five crazy.

 

The horns of the moon

And the twigs that from it hang.

I cannot forget

Your clear eyes.

 

Hail comes form heaven.

But where does light come from?

In this dark night

I see you clean face.

 

Red cockrel of March

Spreung up from nowhere,

Sent by a Jew

To alleviate hunger.

 

The sun, at dawn,

Has dampened rays.

The opinions of a Basque

Are sold at bargain price.

 

My granny said to me:

Your father is drinking.

Go to the pub

And fetch him back here.

 

The future of Basque

Is not at all certain.

The Jews walk the world

With much greater calm.

 

And if this is not the case

May they seal me in a pumpkin.

Laughable are the tales

I have told in the square.

 

 

Translation: Toni Strubell

Original version: APUR DEZAGUN KATEA

 

© Gabriel Aresti    

© Translation: Toni Strubell    

anonymous

 

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