Boricua en la Luna

Share Button

The famous poem by poet and revolutionary Juan Antonio Corretjer in its original Spanish and translated into English by Dr. Lisa Sánchez González.

Boricua en la Luna

by Juan Antonio Corretjer (1980)

Desde las ondas del mar

que son besos a su orilla,

una mujer de Aguadilla

vino a New York a cantar.

Pero no, solo a llorar

un largo llanto y morir.

De ese llanto yo nací

como la lluvia una fiera.

Y vivo en larga espera

de cobrar lo que perdí.

Por un cielo que se hacía

más feo mas más volaba

a Nueva York se acercaba

un peón de Las Marías.

Con la esperanza, decía,

de un largo día volver.

Pero antes me hizo nacer

Y de tanto trabajar

se quedo sin regresar:

reventó en un taller.

De una lagrima soy hijo

y soy hijo del sudor

y fue mi abuelo el amor

Único en mi regocijo

del recuerdo siempre fijo

en aquel cristal del llanto

como quimera en el canto

de un Puerto Rico de ensueño

y yo soy Puertorriqueño,

sin na, pero sin quebranto.

Y el “echón” que me desmienta

que se ande muy derecho

no sea en lo más estrecho

de un zaguán pague la afrenta.

Pues según alguien me cuenta:

dicen que la luna es una

sea del mar o sea montuna.

Y así le grito al villano:

yo sería borincano

aunque naciera en la luna.

_____________________

Boricua on the Moon

Translated by Dr. Lisa Sánchez González 

From the waves of the sea

that roll in kissing the shore,

a woman from Aguadilla

came to sing in New York.

But she arrived only to cry

a river of tears and died.

I was born from that river

like a beast born from rain.

And I live the long wait

to regain what I lost.

Through a sky that grew

uglier the longer he flew

toward New York, came a

worker from Las Marías.

His hope, he always said,

was to some day return.

But first he made me,

then from overwork, he died;

before he could return home

he collapsed on a factory floor.

I am the son of tears

and the son of sweat.

It’s my grandfather’s love

I remember best; it was

the only joy I could see

through that pane of tears,

like a chimaera in a song

of the Puerto Rican dream.

And I am Puerto Rican;

I am broke, but not broken.

And that poseur who denies me?

Let him walk a straight and narrow

path, let him beware of a row

in the winding of an alley,

because someone once said:

they say the moon is one thing

though it be mountain and sea.

And as I defy the villain, I yell:

I would be Boricua even if

I were born on the moon!

___________________

Lisa Sánchez González lives in an enchanted forest, where she has recently finished writing a collection of short stories entitled Puerto Rican Folktales/Cuentos folclóricos puertorriqueños (2Leaf Press, forthcoming 2014). She is also the author of Boricua Literature: A Literary History of the Puerto Rican Diaspora (NYU Press, 2001), The Stories I Read to the Children: The Life and Writing of Pura Belpré (Centro Press, CUNY 2013), and a myriad of essays on American and Caribbean literary history. Sánchez studied Comparative Literature at UCLA (PhD 1995) and has taught at universities in the U.S., Puerto Rico, and Brazil. She now works at the University of Connecticut, where she is Associate Professor of English.

Print this entry

Share / Email

Comments

comments