Saturday, May 06, 2017

Palabras Prestadas / Given Words



Darrell Ward: R.I.P.


Ever since Ice Road Truckers star Darrell Ward died in a planecrash at the early age of 52 - the first casualty among their core cast of daredevils - it's been a bit difficult to keep up our enthusiasm for the TV reality series.

This morning, however, I received the exciting news that expatriate Kiwi poet Charles Olsen had completed his translation of my poem "Ice Road Trucker" into Spanish, and posted it on his "Palabras Prestadas" website.



I have to say that I'm quite thrilled to see my words transformed into another language (especially one I can read) - just as I was when Dieter Riemenschneider included a couple of my poems in his 2010 bilingual German-English anthology Wildes Licht: Gedichte aus Aotearoa Neuseeland [Wild Light: Poems from Aotearoa New Zealand].

So far as I can judge, Charles has done a bang-up job. I do wonder, though, if I can repurpose his work here as some kind of witness to the immense pleasure I've got out of watching this series over the years? In particular, as a tribute to Darrell Ward himself, who strikes me as the most man of anyone I've ever seen.

That time when he managed to drag another truck out of the ditch single-handedly, by driving them both at the same time (I know that doesn't sound physically possible, but he did somehow accomplish it) had to be seen to be believed.

Anyway, here's the poem, in translation (you can read the original English version here, if you like). And what better date to have it appear online than the Cinco de Mayo?



Jack Ross ha publicado varios libros de poesía, entre ellos City of Strange Brunettes (1998), Chantal's Book (2002), To Terezín (2007), Celanie (2012) y A Clearer View of the Hinterland (2014), además de cuatro novelas y dos libros de relatos cortos. Es director y editor de la revista Poetry NZ, y ha editado diversas revistas literarias y antologías. Tiene un doctorado en Inglés y Literatura Comparativa de la Universidad de Edimburgo y actualmente es Catedrático en Escritura Creativa en Massey University.

mairangibay.blogspot.co.nz
New Zealand Book Council – Jack Ross




Camionero sobre hielo


El motor se detuvo
a medio bajada por la rampa de salida

justo cuando cambió el semáforo a verde
para con cuidado en el arcén

y enciende
la luces de emergencia


decía Bronwyn
fuimos a buscar ayuda

me dejó en la estación de servicio
cuando llegué al coche

había un policía
un autobús había golpeado un vehículo utilitario

calle abajo
Necesitaba esto como un tiro en la cabeza

decía
el de la grúa era un viejo fibroso

que levantó el coche
sin esfuerzo

mientras dábamos saltos
en la cabina de su camión

pensé
ya sé qué se siente

al conducir un gran camión
sobre los campos de hielo


mi álter ego
radio frequencia en mano

abierta la botella de Jim Beam
entre las piernas

el horizonte gris de peltre


(Traducción del poema Ice Road Trucker de Jack Ross – traducido por Charles Olsen)



Battle of Puebla (5 May 1862)


3 comments:

Richard said...

I recall that ice trucker poem. My son and I just about only watched that. We used to go out to a local place that had a good "Turkish" for a Sat. meal and get back for Ice Truckers. It was in the end about the only thing I watched on TV. It shifted time and I got out of the habit of watching. (In fact I have virtually stopped watching television altogether.) But it was my favourite program. I wasn't so keen on Darrell but it is sad to hear he died. My favourite was Alex Debogorski and also Lisa Kelly. Also a sneaking sympathy for Art who has his abilities.

I disliked that Russian guy who was with the Polar Bear.

Good poem! My Spanish not good enough to read but in English it is good. Good one to get that translated Jack!

Dr Jack Ross said...

Yes, I once did an online "Ice Road Trucker' quiz, and discovered that my closest avatar was Alex Debogorski, so I kind of agree with you there.

As for Lisa Kelly, Bronwyn and I were having a discussion about who in the world we'd most like to have lunch with, and Lisa was at the top of my list: I'd love to hear more of her lore of the ice road over hors d'oeuvres. Bronwyn finally went with Benedict Cumberbatch, I think.

I agree about Vlad the mad Russian, too, and I have to admit that I'm rather pleased that the Polar Bear has dropped out of the programme. His views seemed illiberal to me. Art is a whole psychological study in himself.

In fact my only quarrel with the series is that it's simply not icy enough. Global waarming seems to have come to Manitoba, and each season is muddier and less icy than the one before ...

Richard said...

I agree with most. I didn't know Cumberbatch, I see he was in a remake of Frankenstein a story that interests me since I read 'Things That Matter' by Mendelson (Auden's lit. executor)....

But I was thinking also that I would prefer that it got colder and icier in Canada. Of course there have been ice ages. I wonder if it will all revert to another ice age as at a certain point there should be a diminishing of heat causing a slow shift back. But this will take several thousand years I suppose.

Art remains a study. Darrell was typical of (almost) all of them though, complaining about things that had already happened. Art had some bad luck, but I suspect he didn't invest enough in his truck. That was the case with a few others, and those who drove too fast in certain conditions. Complaining instead of acting was something Lisa didn't do. She made the odd comment but then quickly shrugged things off. She and Alex were relisilient. I liked the way Debogorski accepted things and also that he prayed. I wish I could have such a faith. I thought of praying after I saw him do that. Lisa does the same, but her resources are revitalised after a sleep or it seems, a visit home to her pets etc....Then they get on and 'do the business.'