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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

English Translation of Alfonsia y el Mar

"Alfonsia y el Mar" is an Argentinian folk song by Félix Luna and Ariel Ramírez about modernist poet Alfonsia Storni (May 29, 1892 – October 25, 1938). "A year and a half after her friend Quiroga committed suicide in 1937, and haunted by solitude and breast cancer, Storni sent her last poem, Voy a dormir ("I'm going to sleep") to La Nación newspaper in October 1938. Around 1:00 AM on Tuesday the 25th, Alfonsina left her room and headed towards the sea at La Perla beach in Mar del Plata, Argentina. Later that morning two workers found her body washed up on the beach. Although her biographers hold that she jumped into the water from a breakwater, popular legend is that she slowly walked out to sea until she drowned" (Wikipedia).

The song has been performed by many musicians, including Mercedes Sosa, Nana Mouskouri, Mocedades and Andrés Calamaro.

Alfonsina and the Sea (Alfonsia y el Mar)
by Félix Luna and Ariel Ramírez

On the soft sand licked by the sea
your small footprint will not return again.
A single path of sorrow and silence reached deep water,
a single path made of untold sorrow
reached the foam.

God knows the anguish that walked with you,
what suffering your old voice kept silent
that caused you to sleep, lulled by the song of the seashells,
the song sung in the dark ocean bottom
by the conch shell.

You go, Alfonsina, with your solitude
What new poems did you hope to find?
And an ancient voice of wind and salt
is seducing your soul and carrying you away,
and you go over, like in a dream,
Alfonsina asleep, dressed in the sea.

Five little mermaids will take you
through roads of algae and coral
and phosphorescent sea horses will sing
a round with you.
And the inhabitants of the water
will soon be playing at your side.

Dim the lamp a little more for me,
let me sleep, nanna, in peace,
and if he calls, tell him I am not here,
tell him Alfonsia will not return.
And if he calls, never tell him I am here,
say that I'm gone.

You go Alfonsina, with your solitude
What new poems did you hope to find?
And an ancient voice of wind and salt
is seducing your soul and carrying you away,
and you go over, like in a dream,
Alfonsina asleep, dressed in the sea.






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