I was introduced to Arturo Montero Vega in a poetry translation course at Webster University in 1998. Vega was born in Costa Rica in 1924, and I have found it difficult to find much online information about him.
In one academic online document, Vega is lumped under the following terms: An “avant-garde” poet of the first (bifurcated) generation, born between 1917 and 1927. “In thematic terms, these generations deal with re-linked with the longing for communication, the dissolution of meaning and the condition of being before the world” (Web, 5 January 2018).
I was drawn tho Vega’s “Quierro Darte” in college and I gave this poem my best translation effort here. I hope you enjoy my translation, which is ultimately, hopefully, close to the sound and sense Arturo Montero Vega was attempting to convey to us.
I want to Give You
(Translation of Arturo Montero Vega’s “Quiero Darte” by Donald Lindsey)
I want to give you something,
a heroic act,
a squeeze of the hand.
I want to give you the leaves of your body,
the wood of your soul,
the bread of your table.
I want to give you a smile,
anything at all.
© by Donald Lindsey
(May 18, 1998) All Rights Reserved
Continue to see Vega’s “Quiero Darte.”
By Arturo Montero Vega
Quiero darte una hermosa,
un acto heroico,
un apretón de manos.
Quiero darte las hojas de to cuerpo,
la madera del alma,
el pan de tu mesa.
Quiero darte una sonrisa,
un gesto, cualquier cosa.
–Arturo Montero Vega (1924 – ?)