Letras Galegas: Xela Arias on Rosalía de Castro

Source: Real Academia Galega and Xulio Gil

Happy Día das Letras Galegas! Poet, writer, and translator Xela Arias will be honored. Since I’m (currently) a non-Galician speaking galegophile and this blog is in English, here’s a section of her poem A de Quen Comprende translated courtesy of Canadian poet and translator Erín Moure.

The 17th of May brings a new personality and figure for us to get to know. I hope next year, with a better understanding for Galician, I can dive more into the original writings of both Xela and next year’s homage.

I

That of the one who realizes is no
glad word.

That of the one who transmits is
terminology, useful.

If every day its blast
does not detonate stupidity into shatters
what use are intelligence and feeling.

II

They made you immaculate. You were needed.
They make you inmaculate. You initiate the long trail.

Look how they crop you,
throttle to the last your right to detonate.

Nothing new, immaculate Rosalía.
It’s how women are always shut into the construction
of others,
you realize:
your own weapon turned against you.

That of the one who realizes is no glad word.

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