yesterday’s poem

bus station

I was thinking about poetry yesterday, even if I didn’t manage to find time to write anything on the blog about it. Indeed, I found something very like a poem at the bus station in Madrid – far busier on the Monday before Easter than the quiet small-town bus station in the photo.

I’m not sure if the concept of ‘found poem’ exists in Spanish, but if it does, I think this must count as one (line breaks have been tweaked, but the wording is as found):

Recomendaciones para la seguridad

Vigile su equipaje:
no se separe de él;
esté atento a las personas
que le puedan distraer
y alejar de su equipaje.
Al introducir o recoger
su equipaje del autobús,
cuide
de su equipaje de mano.

 
Even a free translation into English doesn’t have quite the same rhythm and pared-down effect:

Watch your luggage:
do not abandon it;
be aware of people
who may distract you
and separate you
from your luggage.
When loading or unloading
your luggage from the bus,
take care
of your carry-on luggage.

 
The opening lines in Spanish – vigile su equipaje; / no se separe de él – appeal in particular because the third person pronoun seems to anthropomorphise the luggage. I can imagine Tammy Wynette singing “Sometimes it’s hard to be a traveller” and following up with a rousing chorus of “stand by your bag”.

Author: don't confuse the narrator

Exploring the boundary between writer and narrator through first person poetry, prose and opinion

3 thoughts on “yesterday’s poem”

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