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Poetry

Our Father Is Tired

By Susy Delgado
Translated from Guaraní by Susan Smith Nash & Susy Delgado
In this poem by Susy Delgado, an exhausted god lets earth descend into darkness and death.

Our First, Original Father
is suddenly old
tired   worn out
he sits   he crouches down
he dozes off
eyes closed to
the soul of the earth
and his home

It’s getting late
they’re blowing already
those winds
of orphanhood

Our First, Original Father
has already lowered his arms
and he no longer
scatters across the rough weather
his wisdom
his aged breath
he no longer bothers with making
a little chair to sit down
in the middle of the primordial night
and in the ancient fog
he no longer braids tight
the gleaming raiment
so that Maino’i1
can fly
drizzling
the dew up
toward the firmament . . .

Maino’i
has been left
naked
while trying out
a sad little dance . . .

Our First, Original Father
No longer believes in himself
the fire
the fog
like his own children
so that they
extend in their own time
their wisdom
in all the grandeur of the universe
so that they make
a good home
on this little round earth
everything that exists
has to be good . . .

It already died out
the sacred fire
and the fog
dissolved itself into the night
of malignant storms . . .

Our First, Original Father
there is no longer any truth
in what has sprouted
in the depths of his nobility
the flowerings of his thought
and his knowledge
of magical powers.
He’s already abandoned
his plantings
whose beauty
was ineffable
when it awakened in the soul
of each human being
the word . . .

The most coveted flower
of the divine orchard
has already wilted
and its fragile stem
is skin cracked
dry.

Our First, Original Father
no longer scatters his seed
in the middle of the earth
where the sweet breezes
unfurl the palms
destined to live
until the end of time
swirling around their trunks
covering
the bed of the earth.

The good winds
have now died down
and the good seeding
has now dried up
and a dark stillness
goes about sowing death.

Our First, Original Father
No longer creates life down there
the old snake
the red cicada
the master of the waters
the noisy lobster
the red quail
the armadillo
the owl
and all kinds
of animals
that must blend
disperse
whirl around
the word
that lives
in the earth and the sky . . .

The children of the earth
and their song and their dance
have died out
already forgotten . . .

Our First, Original Father
no longer sends
the Masters of the Fire
who caretake
the murmur of the fire
who tend
as they have always done
the arrival of the new era
that they call
so they will open up their ears

and listen to
the murmur of the fire
the emancipated dancer
to the bedecked chosen men
to the bedecked chosen women  . . .

The Masters of the Fire no longer
have any work to do

now the murmur of the fire
is only a memory . . .

Our First, Original Father
no longer bestows
on the bed of the earth
wisdom
for the mortal children
of men and women . . .

Our First, Original Father
is now blind . . .

Our First, Original Father
no longer gazes upon
the future . . .


1. Maino’i: Mbyá Guaraní name of the original hummingbird at Creation. 


Translated from Jopará Guaraní by Susan Smith Nash, PhD.

“Ñanderu ikane’õ ” © Susy Delgado. By arrangement with the author. English translation © 2020 by Susan Smith Nash. Spanish translation © Susy Delgado. All rights reserved.

English Guaraní Spanish

Our First, Original Father
is suddenly old
tired   worn out
he sits   he crouches down
he dozes off
eyes closed to
the soul of the earth
and his home

It’s getting late
they’re blowing already
those winds
of orphanhood

Our First, Original Father
has already lowered his arms
and he no longer
scatters across the rough weather
his wisdom
his aged breath
he no longer bothers with making
a little chair to sit down
in the middle of the primordial night
and in the ancient fog
he no longer braids tight
the gleaming raiment
so that Maino’i1
can fly
drizzling
the dew up
toward the firmament . . .

Maino’i
has been left
naked
while trying out
a sad little dance . . .

Our First, Original Father
No longer believes in himself
the fire
the fog
like his own children
so that they
extend in their own time
their wisdom
in all the grandeur of the universe
so that they make
a good home
on this little round earth
everything that exists
has to be good . . .

It already died out
the sacred fire
and the fog
dissolved itself into the night
of malignant storms . . .

Our First, Original Father
there is no longer any truth
in what has sprouted
in the depths of his nobility
the flowerings of his thought
and his knowledge
of magical powers.
He’s already abandoned
his plantings
whose beauty
was ineffable
when it awakened in the soul
of each human being
the word . . .

The most coveted flower
of the divine orchard
has already wilted
and its fragile stem
is skin cracked
dry.

Our First, Original Father
no longer scatters his seed
in the middle of the earth
where the sweet breezes
unfurl the palms
destined to live
until the end of time
swirling around their trunks
covering
the bed of the earth.

The good winds
have now died down
and the good seeding
has now dried up
and a dark stillness
goes about sowing death.

Our First, Original Father
No longer creates life down there
the old snake
the red cicada
the master of the waters
the noisy lobster
the red quail
the armadillo
the owl
and all kinds
of animals
that must blend
disperse
whirl around
the word
that lives
in the earth and the sky . . .

The children of the earth
and their song and their dance
have died out
already forgotten . . .

Our First, Original Father
no longer sends
the Masters of the Fire
who caretake
the murmur of the fire
who tend
as they have always done
the arrival of the new era
that they call
so they will open up their ears

and listen to
the murmur of the fire
the emancipated dancer
to the bedecked chosen men
to the bedecked chosen women  . . .

The Masters of the Fire no longer
have any work to do

now the murmur of the fire
is only a memory . . .

Our First, Original Father
no longer bestows
on the bed of the earth
wisdom
for the mortal children
of men and women . . .

Our First, Original Father
is now blind . . .

Our First, Original Father
no longer gazes upon
the future . . .


1. Maino’i: Mbyá Guaraní name of the original hummingbird at Creation. 


Translated from Jopará Guaraní by Susan Smith Nash, PhD.

“Ñanderu ikane’õ ” © Susy Delgado. By arrangement with the author. English translation © 2020 by Susan Smith Nash. Spanish translation © Susy Delgado. All rights reserved.

Ñanderu ikane’õ

Ñanderu Tenondegua
ituja sapy’a
ikane’õ ikuerái
oguapy oñakaity
hopevy
nomañevéima
yvypóra
ha hekoháre.

Atardece
y ya soplan
los vientos
de la orfandad . . .

Ñanderu Tenondegua
omboguejýma ijyva
nomyasãivéima
araresárehe
imba’ekuaa
ipytu yma
ndojapovéima
ijapykarãmi
pytũ ymaite mbytépe
tatatina ymaite apytépe
noñopẽvéima
jeguaka
Maino’i
oveve hag̃ua
ombohayvívo
ysapy
arapýre . . .

Maino’i
se ha quedado
desnudo
y ensaya
una danza triste . . .

Ñanderu Tenondegua
ndojapovéima ijehegui
tatarendy
tatatina
iñemoñarẽramo
ha’ekuéra
oipyso hag̃ua
ha’ekueraháma
imba’ekuaa
pe yvóra tuicha javeve
ha ojapo hag̃ua
tekoha iporãva
yvy apu’amíme
iporã hag̃uáme
opaite mba’e . . .

Ya se apagó
el fuego sagrado
y la neblina
se disolvió en la noche
de un tiempo maligno . . .

Ñanderu Tenondegua
nomoañetevéima
ipy’a porã
ruguápe heñóiva
iñapytu’ũ roky
ha iñarandu
hembiapo pajéva.
Oheja reíma
iñemitỹngue
ni ndaja’eséiva
porãguiva’ekue
oguerojeráramo
yvypóra ñe’ãme
ñe’ẽ . . .

La flor más preciada
del huerto divino
ya se ha marchitado
y su frágil tallo
es piel agrietada
seca.

Ñanderu Tenondegua
nomoheñõvéima
yvy mbytetépe
pe yvytu marangatu
ojera joahápe
Pindo oikoveva’erã
Ára opahápeve
ojokuávo ijehe
omo’ãvo
yvy rupa.

Los vientos buenos
ya se apagaron
la buena siembra
ya se secó
y una negra quietud
va sembrando la muerte.

Ñanderu Tenondegua
ndojapovéima
upépe
mbói yma
yrypa
yamai
tuku pararã
ynambu pytã
tatu’i
urkure’a
ha opaichagua
mymba
ombojopara
omosarambi
omopyryrỹi
va’erã
yvy ha yvágare
ayvu . . .

Los hijos de la tierra
y su canto y su danza
ya se apagaron
ya son olvido . . .

Ñanderu Tenondegua
ndojokuaivéima
Tatarendy Jára kuérape
toñangereko
pe tatarendy ryapúre
tojesareko
jepiveguáicha
ára pyahu jejúre
tohenói
toipe’a ijapysa
tohendu hikuái
tatarendy ryapu
sãso jeroky
kuimba’e jeguaka porãngue’i
ha kuña jeguaka porãngue’i . . .

Ya los Dueños del Fuego
no tienen trabajo que hacer
ya el murmullo del fuego
es solo recuerdo
. . .

Ñanderu Tenondegua
nomboguejyvéima
yvy rupápe
arandu marangatu
kuimba’e ha kuña
ñemoñarépe g̃uara . . .

Nuestro Padre el Primero
ya está ciego
. . .

Ñanderu Tenondegua
nomañavéima
tenonderãre . . .

Nuestro Padre está cansado

Nuestro Padre el Primero
está viejo de pronto
cansado   hastiado
se sienta se agacha
dormita
ya no mira
el ánima de la tierra
ni a su hogar

Atardece
y ya soplan
los vientos
de la orfandad . . .

Nuestro Padre el Primero
ya ha bajado los brazos
ya no esparce
en la intemperie
su sapiencia
su viejo aliento
ya no hace
la silleta para asentarse
en medio de la noche antigua
entre la antigua neblina
ya no trenza
el adorno
para que Maino’i1 pueda volar
haciendo lloviznar
el rocío
por el firmamento . . .

Maino’i
se ha quedado
desnudo
y ensaya
una danza triste . . .

Nuestro Padre el Primero
ya no crea de sí mismo
el fuego
la neblina
como hijos suyos
para que ellos
extiendan a su vez
su sabiduría
en toda la grandeza del universo
para que hagan
un buen hogar
en la tierra redondita
donde habrá de ser bueno . . .
todo lo que exista . . .

Ya se apagó
el fuego sagrado
y la neblina
se disolvió en la noche
de un tiempo maligno . . .

Nuestro Padre el Primero
ya no hace verdad
lo que ha germinado
en el fondo de nobleza
la flor de su pensamiento
y su saber
de mágicos poderes.
Ya abandonó
sus plantíos
cuya belleza
era indecible
al despertar en el alma
del ser humano
la palabra . . .

La flor más preciada
del huerto divino
ya se ha marchitado
y su frágil tallo
es piel agrietada
seca.

Nuestro Padre el Primero
ya no siembra
en el medio de la tierra
donde los buenos vientos
se desatan
el Pindó que ha de vivir
hasta el fin de los tiempos
atando a su tronco
cubriendo
el lecho de la tierra.

Los vientos buenos
ya se apagaron
la buena siembra
ya se secó
y una negra quietud
va sembrando la muerte.

Nuestro Padre el Primero
ya no crea allí
la vieja víbora
la cigarra roja
el dueño de las aguas
la langosta ruidosa
la perdiz roja
el armadillo
la lechuza
y todo tipo
de animales
que ha de mezclar
dispensar
rodar en algarabía
la palabra
que vive
en la tierra y el cielo . . .

Los hijos de la tierra
y su canto y su danza
ya se apagaron
ya son olvido . . .

Nuestro Padre el Primero
ya no envía
a los Dueños del Fuego
a que cuiden
el murmullo del fuego
que atiendan
como hicieron siempre
la venida del tiempo nuevo
que llamen
para que abran sus oídos
y escuchen
el murmullo del fuego
liberado danzante
a los adornados elegidos
a las adornadas elegidas . . .

Ya los Dueños del Fuego
no tienen trabajo que hacer
ya el murmullo del fuego
es solo recuerdo . . .

Nuestro Padre el Primero
ya no baja
al lecho de la tierra
el buen saber
para los hijos
del hombre y la mujer . . .

Nuestro Padre el Primero
ya está ciego . . .

Nuestro Padre el Primero
ya no mira
el porvenir . . .

Maino’i: Nombre mbyá guaraní del colibrí primigenio. 

Traducción de Susy Delgado.

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