Do Not Remember Me With Pity

Le Guin

“I love translation because I translate for love. I’m an amateur. I translate a text because I love it, or think I do, and love craves close understanding. Translation, for me, is discovery.”

– Ursula K. Le Guin

Looking Back

by Ursula K. Le Guin

Remember me before I was a heap of salt,
the laughing child who seldom did
as she was told or came when she was called,
the merry girl who became Lot’s bride,
the happy woman who loved her wicked city.
Do not remember me with pity.
I saw you plodding on ahead
into the desert of your pitiless faith.
Those springs are dry, that earth is dead.
I looked back, not forward, into death.
Forgiving rains dissolve me, and I come
still disobedient, still happy, home.


Anniversary

by Gabriela Mistral
Translated by Ursula K. Le Guin

And we go on and on,
Neither sleeping nor awake,
Towards the meeting, unaware
That we are already there.
That the silence is perfect,
And the flesh is gone.
The call still is not heard
Nor does the Caller reveal his face.

But perhaps this might be
Oh, my love, the gift
Of the eternal Face without gestures
And of the kingdom without form!