1995 creciente bravo english

christian ide hintze: la creciente dorada. 54 poems. spanish.
translations: dr. sonia bravo utrera, dr. petra röhler bolufe. preface by sonia bravo utrera. introduction by esteban moore.
editorial graffiti. 116 pages. isbn 9974-551-59-5. montevideo 1996

sonia bravo utrera:
sound and word. man and image.

i count myself among those who think living is worthwhile as long as there is poetry. and i reaffirmed this idea when i came to know ide hintze and his texts, and saw and heard him in his performances, where one returns to the magic of the ancestral.

at that time the sound and the image substituted for my imperfect understanding of the german language. later i felt the urgent need to grasp in a fuller dimension the sense of the universal man latent in the verses of hintze: to comprehend his poetry in the original language. this book in spanish is the result of philological zeal joined with a love of friendship.

this viennese poet who confesses the urgency of the recognition of the masculine-feminine duality as a condition of creation – and with it, we are taken back to classical letters – was born an artist and was formed by the most diverse sources: sappho and the european vanguard from the turn of the century (the russians, the germans, the french); sturluson and ancient iceland; gógol and the russian realism of the 19th century; the traditions of the orient and western pragmatism; humboldt and tagore as archetypes of life and thought; the vienna group; friederike mayröcker and maría rybnikova; anna ajmatova; john lennon. for this reason, each line in hintze’s verses contains the challenge of capturing, just once, all of these sources. a difficult task for the reader or the spectator of this innovator and an almost impossible one for his translators. hintze affirms:

poetry, as the antithesis of imitation, will take routes unimagined until the very time; routes that will open up thanks to the introduction of the mechanisms and their corresponding codes.
the poet who writes with the alphabet aims the lines of his poetry at a reader; he builds a model of his experiences for people who, in the first place, want to fill it in as they read, before living in accordance with it. this means that the poet who writes with the alphabet is aiming – above all and before anything else – at the critic.
the new poet does not aim at this type of recipient; the models that he builds want to be received in order to be transformed and transmit once more. he participates in a game of permutation handed down from earlier poets, and he will send it on into the future.

but comprehending the sources does not assure the success of the translation; it facilitates solely the deciphering of the “infratext”, establishing associative relationships between the imagery and grasping and seeing the semantic-stylistic connections. the game of permutation the writer speaks of also includes, in this case, an enormous value conferred at the acoustic level to determined sounds, preferably vowels – very much in the style of morgenstern and jlebnikov – and a strong tendency to combine the lyrical narrator with the epic, to substitute them improvisationally in the poetic text, with the presumption of an educated reader capable of reacting when faced with these changes.

working as reader, critic and translator, recreating the poems in ‘the golden  flood’ in spanish took into account, in the first instance, the circumstances already noted. the game of permutation became, for me, a role-playing game. i had to assume the role of the poet, who long before had already taken on and transformed many influences before finding his own voice. and hintze’s own voice is not expressed alphabetically, nor is it worn out in symbols: it comprises the synthesis of sounds and words, gestures and images. models capable of filling to the brim and emptying out meaning at one and the same time; capable of shifting in time and space, of operating with thought and in the absence of thought.

architect and director of the vienna poetry academy, ide hintze postulates the fusion of the banal with the spiritual, the masculine with the feminine, the western with the oriental, the avant-garde artist with the conservative, the experimental with the traditional, the alphabetical symbols with the new symbols of the electronic age. this fusion constitutes the essence of his poetic texts and characterizes them.

as a translator, i had to immerse myself in this multifaceted and fascinating sphere and consider both philological approximation and artistry inadequate in the act of translating literature. as pillars of my personal theory, i have over the years applied a dual philological-literary approach in my translation and have taken catharsis as a subjective-objective basis in the dismantling and reconstruction of the works in their journey from the original in a foreign language to its rendition in spanish.

to translate ide hintze from german i had to, with him, break with everything, to start from the energy of the sound and the word, to reconstruct syntagmas, to reflect on how to organise in spanish syntax the clauses of german syntax, reconsider the force of repetition as a metaphorical instrument, accept the absurdity of one or another image, judged by what is traditionally accepted, to come out on top of the symbol and arrive at the gesture, to recognise that only the ascension of artistic integrity will make the new poetry endure, the innovative poetry of this book that, for a little more than a year, remained in my hands, in my mind and in my body, given to me by this dostoyevskian universal man that is ide hintze.


a  flood will come in, and later, after a long look,
introspective, you may recover
your mind.
a  flood will come in, and a sea shall overflow
surrounded by dreams.
a  flood will come in, and when you peel off your glove
your own naked glove will appear beneath.
a  flood will come in, and a magic ship will sail
propelled only by the day and the night

so let us sail then, all together, the 'la creciente dorada' and its purifying torrent.

(sonia bravo utrera: preface to "la creciente dorada" / "die goldene flut / the golden flood". havana, 1995. original language: spanish)