top of page
Search
  • Writer's pictureTradoctas

On human rights, oppression, art, and translation

A few months ago, we came across Maya Angelou’s poem Caged Bird. This poem describes a “caged bird”—a bird that is trapped in a “narrow cage” with limited mobility, only able to sing about the freedom it has never had and cannot attain.

This caged bird is an extended metaphor for the Black community's past and ongoing experience of racism in the United States in particular, and it can also be read as portraying the experience of any oppressed group. The metaphor captures the overwhelming agony and cruelty of the oppression of marginalized communities by relating it to the emotional suffering of the caged bird.


We asked our colleague and expert on poem translation, Natasha Besoky, to provide a Spanish version of the poem and we’d like to share it with you. Enjoy!



Caged Bird By Maya Angelou A free bird leaps on the back of the wind and floats downstream till the current ends and dips his wing in the orange sun rays and dares to claim the sky. But a bird that stalks down his narrow cage can seldom see through his bars of rage his wings are clipped and his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing. The caged bird sings with a fearful trill of things unknown but longed for still and his tune is heard on the distant hill for the caged bird sings of freedom. The free bird thinks of another breeze and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees and the fat worms waiting on a dawn bright lawn and he names the sky his own. But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream his wings are clipped and his feet are tied so he opens his throat to sing. The caged bird sings with a fearful trill of things unknown but longed for still and his tune is heard on the distant hill for the caged bird sings of freedom. El pájaro enjaulado Maya Angelou Un pájaro libre salta en el lomo del viento y flota río abajo hasta el final de la corriente y moja su ala en los rayos anaranjados del sol y se atreve a reclamar el cielo. Pero un pájaro que acecha desde su estrecha jaula apenas puede ver por los barrotes de rabia sus alas están cortadas y sus patas están atadas así que abre su garganta para cantar. El pájaro enjaulado canta con un temeroso trino sobre algo desconocido pero que aún es anhelado y desde la lejana colina se escucha la melodía porque el pájaro enjaulado canta por la libertad. El pájaro libre piensa en otra brisa y en los suaves vientos alisios a través de los árboles susurrantes y en los gusanos gordos que esperan en el pasto iluminado por el alba y declara que el cielo le pertenece. Pero un pájaro enjaulado permanece sobre la tumba de los sueños su sombra grita un grito de pesadilla sus alas están cortadas y sus patas están atadas así que abre su garganta para cantar. El pájaro enjaulado canta con un temeroso trino sobre algo desconocido pero que aún es anhelado y desde la lejana colina se escucha la melodía porque el pájaro enjaulado canta por la libertad.





24 views0 comments

Σχόλια


bottom of page