George Franklin’s poem “To the Crow, Cawing is Beautiful” first appeared in Cagibi Issue 3, July 2018. The poem was then included in the bilingual collection of poems, Among the Ruins / Entre las ruinas, translated into Spanish by Ximena Gómez and published by Katakana Editores. Here, excerpted from the book, the original is followed by the Spanish translation.
To the Crow, Cawing is Beautiful
To the crow, cawing is beautiful.
Let other birds whistle, chirp, and coo.
Crows speak the language of street vendors,
Tax collectors, factory foremen,
Signs that say, “No Trespassing,” nurses
Telling you to clear the room. Black wings
Abruptly shadowing the sidewalk,
They come to rest on street lamps, call out
Grim shouts of love and panic, warnings
To small-feathered warblers, sweet singers,
And sparrows to keep their distance. They
Know better than to trust anything
They cannot crush in their beaks and eat.
Para el cuervo es maravilloso graznar
Para el cuervo es maravilloso graznar.
Deja a otras aves silbar, gorjear,
Arrullar. Los cuervos hablan el lenguaje
De vendedores ambulantes, recaudadores
De impuestos, capataces de fábrica,
De letreros que dicen “Prohibido el paso”
De enfermeras que piden salir del cuarto.
Alas negras que de pronto oscurecen la acera,
Vienen a descansar en las farolas, chillan
Gritos macabros de amor y pánico,
Advertencias a las currucas de plumas
Pequeñas, a los dulces cantores y
Gorriones de guardar las distancias.
Saben recelar de todo lo que no puedan
Triturar con el pico y comer.
Among the Ruins // Entra las ruinas is available to order.
This excerpt appears with permission of Katakana Editores. Copyright 2018 George Franklin and Ximena Gómez.
About the Author
George Franklin’s manuscript Traveling for No Good Reason won the 2018 Sheila-Na-Gig Editions competition and is now in bookstores, and available online from the publisher. A bilingual collection, Among the Ruins / Entre las ruinas, translated by Ximena Gómez was published in 2018 by Katakana Editores, and his individual poems have appeared here in CAGIBI and also recently in The Threepenny Review, Salamander, Pedestal Magazine, Matter, and Typishly. He practices law in Miami, where he also works as a facilitator and as general counsel for Exchange for Change.
About the Translator
Ximena Gómez is a Colombian poet, psychologist, and translator, who now lives in Miami. Her poems have appeared in numerous Spanish-language journals, and bilingually in Sheila-Na-Gig, Cigar City Journal, and also here in CAGIBI, where her poem “Último Día (Last Day)” was named a finalist for the 2018 Best of the Net award. A collection of her poems, Habitación con moscas, was published by Editorial Torremozas (Madrid 2016). Her fiction has appeared in the New Anthology of Hispano-American Poetry and Narrative, Lord Byron Ediciones (Madrid 2017), and she is the translator of George Franklin’s bilingual collection Among the Ruins / Entre las ruinas from Katakana Editores (Miami 2018).
Cagibi Issue 6