In Translation: You Do Not Want // Tú No Quieres

Fabio Morábito is a Mexican writer and poet. This poem by Fabio Morábito was translated from the Spanish by Lorea Canales. The original Spanish follows the English translation.

YOU DO NOT WANT to let the sun enter the room
because it fades the Persian rug,

and I rather have the sun come into the room
even if it fades the Persian rug.

Persian rugs there are many I tell you
and soon our sunny days will be over.

And you: the sun comes in for an hour and leaves,
but the rug shines all day

with all of its colors.
And I: that’s why the sun is the sun,

it comes into a room and blinds
in exchange taking a few colors,

but a faded Persian carpet
is not a carpet without color,

it shines with the color of all the sunny days
that only in Persian carpets can be seen.


TÚ NO QUIERES que entre el sol en el cuarto
porque destiñe el tapete persa,

yo prefiero que entre el sol en el cuarto
aunque destiña el tapete persa.

Tapetes persas hay muchos te digo
y a los dos se nos acaban los días de sol.

Y tú: el sol entra en el cuarto una hora y se larga,
pero el tapete persa relumbra todo el día

con todos sus colores.
Y yo: por eso el sol es el sol,

que entra en el cuarto y nos deslumbra
a cambio de llevarse unos colores,

pero un tapete persa descolorido
no es un tapete sin colores,

relumbra del color de muchos días de sol
que sólo en los tapetes persas puede verse.

About the Author

Fabio Morábito (1955) was born in Alexandria, Egypt of Italian parents and at the age of three returned with his family to Italy. He spent his childhood in Milan and at fifteen moved to Mexico, where he remains. Even if his mother tongue is Italian, he has written all of his works in Spanish. He is the author of four books of poetry: Lotes Baldios (FCE, 1985) won the Carlos Pellicer prize. De lunes todo el año (Joaquin Mortiz, 1992) won the Aguascalientes prize in 1991, Alguien de lava (Era, 2002), these three books were united in La ola que regresa (FCE 2006) and Delante de un prado una vaca (Era 2011, Visor 2014). He has written three books of stories La lenta furia (Vuelta,1989; Tusquets, 2002; Eterna Cadencia, 2009), La vida ordenada (Tusquets, 2000, Eterna Cadencia, 2012) and Grieta de fatiga (Tusquets, 2006; Eterna Cadencia, 2010), this last won the narrative prize “Antonin Artaud” 2006. He has written two books of prose, Caja de herramientas (FCE, 1989; Pre-Textos, 2009) y También Berlín se olvida (Tusquets, 2004). And the novel, Emilio, los chistes y la muerte (Anagrama, 2009), as well as a short children’s novel, Cuando las panteras no eran negras (Siruela, 1996; FCE 2012).

Several anthologies of his work have appeared in Argentina, Spain and Venezuela, the last of which is Ventanas encendidas (Madrid, Visor, 2011). He is the author of a book of essays, Los pastores sin ovejas (El Equilibrista, 1995). He translated the poems of Eugenio Montale, which were published in Spain 2006 Galaxia Gutenberg-Círculo de Lectores, and Aminta de Torquato Tasso (UNAM, 2001). Several of his books have been translated to German, English, French and Portuguese and Italian. He is a professor of the Philology Institute of the Universidad National Autonoma de Mexico where he currently works investigating oral narrative in Mexico.

About the Translator

Lorea Canales is the author of Becoming Marta (Amazon Crossings/Amazon Publishing), an Amazon Bestseller, and Kindle First pick, and winner of the Latino Book Award. It was originally published in Spanish by Random House, Mexico, in 2011. She is also the author of Los Perros published by Random House, Mexico, in 2013. She has an LLM from Georgetown Law, worked in Washington, DC, and Mexico before joining the newspaper Reforma. In 2010, Canales received an MFA from NYU. Her articles and short stories have appeared in numerous publications and anthologies.

Appears In