The Silent Letter

The Silent Letter
Jaume Subirana (born 1963) counts among Catalonia’s leading poets. Prizes he has been awarded include the Premi Carles Riba and the Premi Gabriel Ferrater-Sant Cugat.
Christopher Whyte’s translation of his latest collection is published, alongside the original Catalan text, by Fum d’Estampa, who are specialised in bringing Catalan authors before an English-speaking audience.
Subirana’s poems are at times disarmingly simple annotations of a thought, an emotion or a moment, whose fleeting nature serves to disguise profound implications beneath the concise, chiselled surface. Sasha Dugdale writes that ‘I think Jaume’s work is astounding. I was grasping for ways to describe it: delicate and profound. The Silent Letter is translated by Christopher Whyte, who has reproduced the wonderfully taut lyric of Jaume’s Catalonian work’.
For Francesc Parcerisas, ‘Open any of Jaume’s books at random and you will feel yourself carried away by the natural current of Jaume’s beautiful poetry’.
You can read two poems here.
A little wine stain in the glass.
Yesterday’s friend on a shadowy arm.
Thinking of your mother in the morning.
Brodsky’s book you cannot lay your hands on.
A stretch of road on which you felt afraid.
The endless thread of never saying no.
Yes finding a voice. Keys to your homes.
That lancet. Sheathed in gauze.
All staying here, while you depart.
La mica de vi que deixes al vas.
L’amiga d’ahir a l’ombra d’un braç.
L’estona al matí pensant en la mare.
El Brodsky llegit que no saps on para.
Un tros de camí on vas tenir por.
El fil sense fi de no dir que no.
La veu de dir sí. Les claus de les cases.
Aquell bisturí. La funda de gasa.
Tot es queda aquí, i tu te n’en vas.
Long enough to close your eyes,
sketch a letter,
gulp the glass down,
lick her shoulder,
listen to a song.
A whole life, like that.
El temps d’aclucar els ulls,
de dibuixar una lletra,
d’escurar el vas amb set,
de llepar-li l’esquena,
d’escoltar una cançó.
Així, tota una vida.
buy a copy
The Silent Letter

‘Christopher Whyte has reproduced the wonderfully taut lyric of Jaume’s Catalonian work’.
– Sasha Dugdale

© 2021 Christopher Whyte. All Rights Reserved | Designed by Jarka Jones

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