Volume 69, Number 1 · Fall 2019

Madrigal andino

               Cuando yo te conocí
               te hiciste dueña de mí
                                   —huayño

 

Cuando te conocí
no hubo incendios en el cielo,
ni temblores de tierra,
sólo floreció el papal
junto a la piedra.

Andean Madrigal

translated from the Spanish by
Michelle Har Kim

               Upon meeting you
               you were master of me
                           —Andean Song

 

When I met you
there were no fires in the skies,
or quakes of land at home,
only potato fields blossoming
alongside the stone.


Described by critics as one of Bolivia’s greatest poets, the repertoire of author, journalist, and scholar Pedro Shimose Kawamura (1940–) includes an array of genres, from his acclaimed verses, to his short stories, textbooks, and musical work. Born in Riberalta, Bolivia, he has lived as an expatriate in Madrid since 1971. The 1972 recipient of the Casa de las Américas Prize for the book of poems Quiero escribir, pero me sale espuma, and the Premio Nacional de Novela in 1999, Shimose been rendered into over ten languages. His original volumes of poetry also include, among others, Caducidad del fuego (1975), Reflexiones maquiavélicas (1980), Bolero de caballería (1985), Riberalta y otros poemas (1996), and No te lo vas a creer (2000).

Michelle Har Kim lives in the San Gabriel Valley, east of Los Angeles. She is a 2016 recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Translation Fellowship, and has translated poems by José Watanabe for Guernica, Epiphany, and the Asian American Literary Review.