The Monday Poem: ‘What Would They Say?’ by Alfonsina Storni

The Monday Poem is brought to you by Professor Kristin Bensen-Hause. Enjoy!

What Would They Say? (With original language version)

Alfonsina Storni (1892-1838)

What would the people say, reduced and empty,

If one fortuitous day, by some extreme fantasy,

I were to dye my hair silvery and violet, were to wear an old greek gown, exchanging the comb

for a circlet of flowers: forget-me-nots or jasmines,

were to sing through the streets to the rhythm of the violins,

or were to read my verses aloud, traveling the plazas

my gusto freed of common gags?

 

Would they go to watch me, covering the sidewalks?

Would they burn me like they burned enchantresses?

Would they ring the bells, calling to mass?

 

In truth, when I think of it, I laugh a little.

 

Original language version: Que Diria

¿Qué Diría?

¿Qué diría la gente, recortada y vacía,

Si un día fortuito, por ultra fantasía,

Me tiñera el cabello de plateado y violeta,

Usara peplo griego, cambiara la peineta

Por cintillo de flores: miosotis o jazmines,

Cantara por las calles al compás de violines,

O dijera mis versos recorriendo las plazas

Libertado mi gusto de vulgares mordazas?

 

¿Irían a mirarme cubriendo las aceras?

¿Me quemarían como quemaron heciceras?

¿Campanas tocarían para llamar a misa?

 

En verdad que pensarlo me da un poco de risa.


The Monday Poem logoStorni, Alfonsina. “What Would They Say?” All Poetry. allpoetry.com/Alfonsina-Storni.  Accessed 9 September 2019