Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Guadalupe Garcia McCall - Under the Awning/Debajo del Toldo

Under the Awning
Guadalupe Garcia McCall

Four starving swallows caw and squawk in their nest.
Hour after hour, day after day, their parents came and
Went, went and came. Feathers flapping, tails snapping,
Feeding mouths that would not stay fed.

Today, there is nothing save the incessant squawking,
The emptiness that shocks. A black widow spider scuttles by,
Dragging behind her a silken sack, while a giant moth sleeps
Peacefully beside the nest, her wings splayed out widely.

Debajo del Toldo
Guadalupe Garcia McCall

Quatro golondrinas ambrientas gorgear y graznasen en su nido.
Hora tras hora, dia tras dia, sus parientes fueron y vinieron,
Vinieron y fueron, agitando plumas, castañeando rabitos,
Alimentando bocas que no se hartaban.

Hoy, no hay nada salvo el graznido incesante, el vacio que asusta.
Una araña viuda negra se escabulle, arrastrando detras de ella
Un saco de seda, mientras una polilla enorme duerme tranquilamente
Al lado del nido, sus alas desplegadas ampliamente.

©Guadalupe Garcia McCall. All rights reserved.

First off... congratulations to Guadalupe Garcia McCall, the Lee Bennett Hopkins Promising Poet Award winner in 2013! The award is given every three years to... wait for it... a promising poet (who hasn't released more than two books) and is quite a wonderful bit o' recognition. Huzzah, I say!

And, I'd add, if you read today's poem, you'll get a glimpse into why such recognition keeps on coming. Read the poem aloud and feel the crispness and power of the language (I suspect in either language, actually!). There is such great specificity in the images... as if this scene must have been witnessed to be described so clearly.

Whether she's writing novels-in-verse or in prose, Guadalupe Garcia McCall's work will draw you in. It took me too long to discover her books, and I don't want you to make that same mistake. So go on out and find them. In the meantime, I'm just incredibly happy to have her here today as part of 30 Poets/30 Days. 
Yesterday, Renée LaTulippe introduced us to A Council of Cats. Tomorrow... Joyce Lee Wong with Wedding Photo! For more on 30 Poets/30 Days and ways to follow along, please click here.


Charles Waters said...

I flipped for UNDER THE MESQUITE. Her images are so clear it feels like you're there witnessing it all unfold. Look forward to meeting her at TLA.!

tanita✿davis said...

I only know this poet for her prose, but -- wow.

Janet Wong said...

You're so right, Greg! Guadalupe Garcia McCall has burst onto the poetry scene, winning all kinds of awards and getting on "best lists." We're very proud to have some of her poems in our Poetry Friday Anthologies--she's a star!

Sylvia Vardell said...

Love Guadalupe and her work-- and your fantastic series, Greg. And I am so pleased you featured her poem in both English and Spanish. I think it's so important to recognize the many languages of poetry!