Traducción de poema no digno de premio
Thread poster: Jack Doughty

Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:15
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Jul 17, 2002

)Excuse me writing this in English)

Ricardo Bardo\'s recent posting about literary translation competitions reminded me that I once translated a poem of mine into \"Spanish\" (my Spanish is not all that good, so it\'s probably full of errors). No native Spanish speaker has ever seen it so I hope you won\'t mind me posting it here and asking for constructive criticism (if you think it\'s even worth criticizing).

The English poem is based on this news item from the Daily Telegraph:


Jealous of his fiancée’s passion for fashionwear, a pub manager destroyed £1,600-worth of her favourite clothes on a bonfire.

[Name deleted], 37, piled up 55 garments, including coats, fitted skirts, silk blouses, leggings and underwear before dousing them in barbecue lighter fuel and setting them ablaze.

He claimed he snapped after discovering that Miss [name deleted],28, used £180 from their joint bank account to buy a navy blue blazer from a West End store. It was consigned to the flames.

[Name deleted] said: “It was the last straw. She loved her clothes more than she loved me. I could have handled competing with another man for her affections, but I couldn’t beat her wardrobe.” He burnt the clothes on the front lawn of the home they shared…

Miss [name deleted] said: “He knew that I liked my clothes, so he was just trying to hurt me… I admit I like clothes, but what woman doesn’t?”

Among the items she lost were at least six blouses, two evening suits, three party dresses, four skirts, two winter coats, four pairs of Levi jeans, assorted tops, three jackets, a blazer, assorted knickers and bras, and a nightdress.

English poem:


Monica\'s husband is burning the boxes -

By the rockery, near where the last of the rocks is.

He\'d been to the larder - no food on the shelf.

She\'d spent all the housekeeping cash on herself!

She\'d drawn every cent from the current account,

And an overdraft too, an enormous amount!

So to punish his wife for a crime that he loathes,

He is burning the boxes, all full of her clothes.

There are boxes of underclothes, slips, bras and pinnies,

And boxes of skirts - maxis, midis and minis.

There\'s a two-piece by Dior, a dress by Balmain.

Her Chanel No. 1 has been poured down the drain!

There are blouses from Principles, jumpers from Next,

And a T-shirt with rather a dubious text.

He\'d told her before she should cut her expenses,

But he couldn\'t persuade her to try Marks and Spencers.

Monica\'s gone home in tears to her mother.

I don\'t think they\'ll ever get back with each other.

Yet he loves her - yes, that\'s what the strange paradox is.

But Monica\'s husband is burning the boxes!

“Spanish” version:


El marido de Monica quema las cajas -

Las cajas en que ella tiene sus trajes.

Él vuelva en casa, buscando comida,

Que debe comprar su esposa querida.

No halla él nada digno de comer,

Suficiente razón por le enloquecer.

La mujer, como si no hubiera mañana,

Adquira que quiera de cada ventana.

Falda y suéter, pañuelo y braga;

Costoso vestido de Balenciaga.

Le gusta zapatas de piel de becerro.

Collar con diamantes adorna su perro.

Enfadado de toda su estupidez,

(¿Por qué no ir de compras en Corte Inglés?)

Él recoge las cajas, las lleva fuera,

Adonde está la enorme hoguera.

Consume las cajas el fuego ardiente.

En humo desaparecen de repente.

Aunque sus hechos no tienen ventajas,

El marido de Monica quema las cajas.

I would have liked to work in something equivalent to the last line but one in English, but could\'t think of anything.

Any suggestion would be gratefully received!


Aurora Humarán (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:15
English to Spanish
+ ...
My suggestion Jul 17, 2002

Hi Jack!

My suggestion should be in your e-mail by now.


icon_smile.gif Aurora


MikeGarcia  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:15
English to Spanish
+ ...
Another suggestion Jul 17, 2002

Since I am sure my very dear friend Aurora has taken care of your specific request regarding the spanish version of your poem,please let me congratulate you,Mr.Doughty, on your marvellous ( and undoubtedly british ) sense of humour. Your poem has made me:1) smile and 2) laugh wholehearteadly.

You Brits have that undefinable subtlety in

the way you practise so many things, including that enviable capacity of laughing ( even laughing at yourselves, something we latins have so much to learn about ).

Finally, let me mention that the newspaper clipping which originated your poem reminds me, in many ways, of one of W.Somerset Maugham\'s so very enthralling Short Stories, \" The Kite \".

Yours truly,

Miguel García Uriburu.


Parrot  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:15
Spanish to English
+ ...
Got any more of those, Jack? Jul 17, 2002

Miguel\'s right, certainly makes one smile.

On the other hand, I would hope you no longer have problems of that sort!!! I mean, frustrated women taking it out on the joint bank account. Maybe he should\'ve told her to go learn a foreign language and start translating? icon_wink.gif


two2tango  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:15
English to Spanish
+ ...
Stay with us please! Jul 19, 2002

Hi Jack!

I loved this one, the fine British humour and the beautiful music you can only find in good English poetry.

A poet can find this music in the smallest things, like you did in this funny newspaper clip. I remember Ogden Nash\'s reflection:

The Lord in His wisdom made the fly,

and then forgot to tell us why!

My very best regards!



[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-07-19 11:56 ]


aivars  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:15
Member (2003)
English to Spanish
+ ...
funny and original Jul 19, 2002

Jack, I could have never dared do such colossal task in English, superb.

Sent you also some basic comments over the mail


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