23 April 2013

Always fragrant, benign

Today is my favorite Catalan holiday, Sant Jordi. I love it because it has all the nice things: gifts for your loved ones, flowers and books, history and legend (Saint George and the dragon). 

The Mister left at 5 am for a quick overnight business trip, but when I made my way downstairs with the kids a red rose and a wrapped book were waiting for me on the table.

April has been sluggish and cold: the sun shines, but without warmth. A gusty wind blows that requires me to don my hat and scarf and gloves. However, I've stubbornly broken out my spring clothes, deceived by a few warm days during which we (and everyone else here) practically fell over ourselves to have picnics in the park and eat ice cream. So I'm usually too cold as I schlep the kids around, gritting my teeth into the wind.

Gabriel went easter egg hunting in the snow (oh, our little trip to the Ardennes was a big success! but then we all got sick again the following week). I keep thinking it HAS to get better. It will.


In the meantime, a poem for Sant Jordi's day by Salvador Espriu, the great Catalan poet. Soon the suffering dragon, the boredom, the cold rain will be locked away...


Les Roses Recordades

Salvador Espriu

Recordes com ens duien

aquelles mans les roses
de Sant Jordi, la vella
claror d'abril? Plovia
a poc a poc. Nosaltres,
amb gran tedi, darrera
la finestra, miràvem,
potser malalts, la vida
del carrer. Aleshores
ella venia, sempre
olorosa, benigna,
amb les flors, i tancava
fora, lluny, la sofren├ža
del pobre drac, i deia
molt suament els nostre
spetits noms, i ens somreia.

Remembered Roses
Salvador Espriu

Do you remember how those hands

brought us the roses of Sant Jordi,
the old April light? It rained
slowly. Us, bored and maybe ill
behind the window, watching
the street life go by. Then
she came, always fragrant, 
benign, with flowers, 
and she locked the suffering
of the poor dragon away, far away,
and she ever so softly said
our dear names, and smiled at us.

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