LIBRO: Las bodas de Pentecostés de Philip Larkin

Título: Las bodas de Pentecostés
Autor: Philip Larkin
Editorial: Lumen
Idioma: Inglés/Español
Fecha de publicación: 2012. 2ª Edición.
Título Original: The Whitsun Weddings
ISBN: 978-84-264-1609-4

Esta tarde escuchaba música mientras leía el poemario de Philip Larkin; pero la apagué. Era Dylan y sabía que al viejo amigo de Dylan Thomas le gustaría; pero apagué la voz. La música cesó y me sumergí de lleno en la lectura tal vez al subirme a ese tren casi vacío un soleado sábado de Pentecostés. Apagué la música porque quería encontrarme a solas con Larkin y sus reales paisajes, como no pueden ser de otra manera. Me encontré entre libros y libros, en la biblioteca donde los poemas brotaban, sintiendo su soledad, allí donde valía la pena destrozarme la vista. Me impregné de la libertad que provoca el anonimato. Pasar desapercibido mientras los poemas surgen frente a dos enamorados de piedra, cuyo amor no será eterno aunque pasen 600 años, por más que lo intenten; o en un tren camino a Londres, foráneo entre los libros, extranjero entre los pasajeros. Veo que la esencia Larkin contagia.

Virar hacia el este, salir de las ricas sombras industriales
y el tráfico, toda la noche hacia el norte; virar hacia campos
tan ralos, cardizales, que no son ni prados,
y de vez en cuando un apeadero de sonido gutural, que acoge
obreros al alba; virar hacia la soledad
de cielos y espantapájaros, almiares, liebres y faisanes,
y la lenta presencia del río, ensanchándose,
cúmulos dorados, el brillo del barro pisado de gaviotas,

aboca a la sorpresa de una gran ciudad:
aquí, donde se apiñan cúpulas y estatuas, agujas y grúas
junto a calles salpicadas de grano, un agua poblada de gabarras,
y habitantes de feas urbanizaciones, que furtivos
trolebuses han recorrido millas y millas en línea recta
y ahora empujan grandes cristaleras rumbo a sus deseos:
trajes baratos, cacharros rojos, zapatos de puntera, polos,
batidoras eléctricas, tostadoras, lavadoras, secadoras:
gentes de saldo, urbanas pero simples, a cuya morada
solo llegan los vendedores y los parientes, encerradas
en una escena bucólica que huele a pescado, de barcos
que van calle arriba, el museo de los esclavos, tiendas
de tatuajes, consulados, severas mujeres de pañuelo en la cabeza;
y más allá de una periferia que se levanta hipotecada
campos de trigo altos como setos, sombreados por nubes
veloces, pueblos aislados, donde las vidas retiradas
la soledad clarifica. Aquí el silencio se alza
como el calor. Aquí se espesan las hojas inadvertidas,
florecen ocultas malezas, se apresuran aguas olvidadas,
asciende un aire poblado de luz;
y tras la distancia neutral y azulada de las amapolas
acaba la tierra de pronto más allá de una playa
de formas y guijarros. Aquí la existencia no tiene límites:
mira al sol, reservada, inalcanzable.

She kept her songs, they kept so little space
The covers pleased her
One bleached from lying in a sunny place
One marked in circles by a vase of water
One mended, when a tidy fit had seized her
And coloured, by her daughter
So they had waited, till, in widowhood
She found them, looking for something else, and stood

Relearning how each frank submissive chord
Had ushered in
Word after sprawling hyphenated word,
And the unfailing sense of being young
Spread out like a spring-woken tree, wherein
That hidden freshness sung
That certainty of time laid up in store
As when she played them first. But, even more

The glare of that much-mentionned brilliance, love
Broke out, to show
Its bright incipience sailing above
Still promising to solve, and satisfy
And set unchangeably in order. So
To pile them back, to cry
Was hard, without lamely admitting how
It had not done so then, and could not now.

Slowly the women file to where he stands  
Upright in rimless glasses, silver hair,
Dark suit, white collar. Stewards tirelessly  
Persuade them onwards to his voice and hands,  
Within whose warm spring rain of loving care  
Each dwells some twenty seconds. Now, dear child,
What’s wrong, the deep American voice demands,  
And, scarcely pausing, goes into a prayer  
Directing God about this eye, that knee.  
Their heads are clasped abruptly; then, exiled

Like losing thoughts, they go in silence; some  
Sheepishly stray, not back into their lives
Just yet; but some stay stiff, twitching and loud  
With deep hoarse tears, as if a kind of dumb  
And idiot child within them still survives  
To re-awake at kindness, thinking a voice  
At last calls them alone, that hands have come  
To lift and lighten; and such joy arrives
Their thick tongues blort, their eyes squeeze grief, a crowd  
Of huge unheard answers jam and rejoice—

What’s wrong! Moustached in flowered frocks they shake:  
By now, all’s wrong. In everyone there sleeps  
A sense of life lived according to love.
To some it means the difference they could make  
By loving others, but across most it sweeps
As all they might have done had they been loved.  
That nothing cures. An immense slackening ache,  
As when, thawing, the rigid landscape weeps,
Spreads slowly through them—that, and the voice above  
Saying Dear child, and all time has disproved.

If I were called in
To construct a religion
I should make use of water.

Going to church
Would entail a fording
To dry, different clothes;

My litany would employ
Images of sousing,
A furious devout drench,

And I should raise in the east
A glass of water
Where any-angled light
Would congregate endlessly.

Si me invitaran
a crear una religión
haría uso del agua.

Ir a la iglesia
implicaría cruzar un vado
y llegar a ropas secas, distintas;

mi liturgia utilizaría
imágenes de inmersión,
un furioso y devoto empapamiento,

y yo levantaría hacia el este
un vaso de agua
donde la luz en cualquier ángulo
se congregaría hasta el infinito.

That Whitsun, I was late getting away:
    Not till about
One-twenty on the sunlit Saturday
Did my three-quarters-empty train pull out,
All windows down, all cushions hot, all sense   
Of being in a hurry gone. We ran
Behind the backs of houses, crossed a street
Of blinding windscreens, smelt the fish-dock; thence   
The river’s level drifting breadth began,
Where sky and Lincolnshire and water meet.

All afternoon, through the tall heat that slept   
    For miles inland,
A slow and stopping curve southwards we kept.   
Wide farms went by, short-shadowed cattle, and   
Canals with floatings of industrial froth;   
A hothouse flashed uniquely: hedges dipped   
And rose: and now and then a smell of grass   
Displaced the reek of buttoned carriage-cloth   
Until the next town, new and nondescript,   
Approached with acres of dismantled cars.

At first, I didn’t notice what a noise
    The weddings made
Each station that we stopped at: sun destroys   
The interest of what’s happening in the shade,
And down the long cool platforms whoops and skirls   
I took for porters larking with the mails,   
And went on reading. Once we started, though,   
We passed them, grinning and pomaded, girls   
In parodies of fashion, heels and veils,   
All posed irresolutely, watching us go,

As if out on the end of an event
    Waving goodbye
To something that survived it. Struck, I leant   
More promptly out next time, more curiously,   
And saw it all again in different terms:   
The fathers with broad belts under their suits   
And seamy foreheads; mothers loud and fat;   
An uncle shouting smut; and then the perms,   
The nylon gloves and jewellery-substitutes,   
The lemons, mauves, and olive-ochres that

Marked off the girls unreally from the rest.   
    Yes, from cafés
And banquet-halls up yards, and bunting-dressed   
Coach-party annexes, the wedding-days   
Were coming to an end. All down the line
Fresh couples climbed aboard: the rest stood round;
The last confetti and advice were thrown,
And, as we moved, each face seemed to define   
Just what it saw departing: children frowned   
At something dull; fathers had never known

Success so huge and wholly farcical;
    The women shared
The secret like a happy funeral;
While girls, gripping their handbags tighter, stared   
At a religious wounding. Free at last,
And loaded with the sum of all they saw,
We hurried towards London, shuffling gouts of steam.   
Now fields were building-plots, and poplars cast   
Long shadows over major roads, and for
Some fifty minutes, that in time would seem

Just long enough to settle hats and say
    I nearly died,
A dozen marriages got under way.
They watched the landscape, sitting side by side
—An Odeon went past, a cooling tower,   
And someone running up to bowl—and none   
Thought of the others they would never meet   
Or how their lives would all contain this hour.   
I thought of London spread out in the sun,   
Its postal districts packed like squares of wheat:

There we were aimed. And as we raced across   
    Bright knots of rail
Past standing Pullmans, walls of blackened moss   
Came close, and it was nearly done, this frail   
Travelling coincidence; and what it held   
Stood ready to be loosed with all the power   
That being changed can give. We slowed again,
And as the tightened brakes took hold, there swelled
A sense of falling, like an arrow-shower   
Sent out of sight, somewhere becoming rain.

Larkin, Philip (2012). Las bodas de Pentecostés. Lumen.