Louis MacNeice – Under the mountain

17 Feb
Louis MacNeice – Under the mountain

Frederick Louis MacNeice (12 September 1907 – 3 September 1963) was an Irish poet and playwright. He was part of the generation of “thirties poets” that included W. H. Auden, Stephen Spender and Cecil Day-Lewis, nicknamed “MacSpaunday” as a group — a name invented by Roy Campbell, in his Talking Bronco (1946). His body of work was widely appreciated by the public during his lifetime, due in part to his relaxed, but socially and emotionally aware style. Never as overtly (or simplistically) political as some of his contemporaries, his work shows a humane opposition to totalitarianism as well as an acute awareness of his Irish roots.

MacNeice wrote in the introduction to his Autumn Journal, “Poetry in my opinion must be honest before anything else and I refuse to be ‘objective’ or clear-cut at the cost of honesty.” He has inspired many poets since his death, particularly those from Northern Ireland such as Paul Muldoon and Michael Longley.


Under the mountain
Louis Macneice (1907-1963)

Seen from above
The foam in the curving bay is a goose-quill
That feathers … unfeathers … itself.

Seen from above
The field is a flap and the haycocks buttons
To keep it flush with the earth.

Seen from above
The house is a silent gadget whose purpose
Was long since obsolete.

But when you get down
The breakers are cold scum and the wrack
Sizzles with stinking life.

When you get down
The field is a failed or a worth-while crop, the source
Of back-ache if not heartache.

And when you get down
The house is a maelstrom of loves and hates where you –
Having got down – belong.


Bajo la montaña

Vista de arriba
la espuma en la bahía es una pluma
que se abre… se repliega.

Visto de arriba
el campo es una falda y las parvas botones
que la mantienen al ras de la tierra.

Vista de arriba
la casa es un artefacto mudo cuya función
hace tiempo es obsoleta.

Pero cuando uno baja
las rompientes son escoria fría y las algas
sisean contra la costa nauseabundas.

Cuando uno baja
el campo es una cosecha provechosa o malograda, la fuente
de dolor en las espaldas, si no de congoja.

Y cuando uno baja
la casa es un maétstrom de amores y de odios donde uno
-que ha bajado- pertenece.

Versión de Jorge Fonderbrider y Gerardo Romano

1 comentario

Publicado por en febrero 17, 2014 en Poems


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Una respuesta a “Louis MacNeice – Under the mountain

  1. Marian

    febrero 18, 2014 at 8:16 am

    Reblogueó esto en Trópico de cáncer.



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