November 23, 2011: Me acostumbré a las tierras tercas

We’re still stuck on the subjunctive in Spanish lessons, and today it was confirmed that we shan’t be doing another book before I finish classes. I’m awfully bored with it, having already studied it in high school. At best, we may start the imperative. Make it so!

The ocean looked like a blue mist today. I can't get over how damned beautiful it is.

I did not go to lunch with my classmates, for once. My stomach has grown quite used to being fed at a regular hour: by the time I arrived home, it was convinced that I should consume the entire house. (I didn’t, but it was a close thing.)

On my way home, I came across this graffiti: Royal Marmota. I immediately pictured a crowned alpine rodent, but I figured that marmota must have another meaning in Spanish that I was unaware of. I’ve just looked it up: nope, “royal marmot” it is. [Edit 11/24: My aunt may have solved the mystery: both words are names of Brazilian fútbol teams. She is wise in the ways of graffiti!]

Can you explain this? I've got nothin'. (Edit: My auntly creature can! See above.)

Jacaranda Gal (an odorous lass who may or may not be related to me) asked about the Pablo Neruda preface that I put in the front of my Spanish vocabulary notebook. This is what it is:

De tanto andar una región
que no figuraba en los libros
me acostumbré a las tierras tercas
en que nadie me preguntaba
si me gustaban las lechugas
o si prefería la menta
que devoran los elefantes.
Y de tanto no responder
tengo el corazón amarillo.

From so often traveling a region
not charted in books
I grew accustomed to stubborn lands
where nobody asked me
whether I like lettuces
or if I prefer mint
like the elephants devour.
And from offering no response,
I have a yellow heart.

3 thoughts on “November 23, 2011: Me acostumbré a las tierras tercas

  1. P.S. I would like to provide my own translation of the Neruda poem:

    Of all my traveling in places
    That didn’t show up in any books,
    I’m used to tercas ground
    Where no one asks me stuff like
    If they want my vegetables
    Or if they prefer my brain
    That eats elephants.
    And of all of them, I don’t to answer
    That my heart is as yellow.

    1. That is a BEAUTIFUL translation. I couldn’t have said it better myself. I shall be murmuring those elegant words the rest of the week: “Or if they prefer my brain/ That eats elephants.”

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