Re the last line of Neruda's poem - "like a puma in the barrens of Quitratue" - can someone pls tell me what "Quitratue" means?
From the cntext, it's a place - like saying the skyscrapers of New York.
Now I'm picturing a puma in a skyscraper.
i was thinking of a puma in a desert .
Sounds about right - barrens - where nothing grows = deserts. If you google Quitratue, you get quite a few things other than the Neruda poem, but not in a language I understand. One or two seem likely to mean it's a place in that they are capitalized.
Most likely the city of Quitratue in Chile is the place being referred to by Neruda since he lived there in Chile. Here's a website that mentions this:
When you think of a puma, is it a cat, a shoe, or a snowmobile?
I always think of Ogden Nash:
A jolly young fellow from Yuma
Told an elephant joke to a puma;
Now his skeleton lies
Beneath hot western skies -
The puma had no sense of huma.
I'm finding the same - a place in Chile that goes WAY BACK (archeology there is good) and is still in business.
In Spanish, there's an accent on the e: Quitratué. Kee-tra-too-AY.
This suggests an indigenous place name (not a Spanish one).
In the year 2000 it was getting funding to put in a watertreatment system, so it's not a cutting-edge-modern kind of place.
THE BARRENS ... maybe the desert surrounding it?
Tengo hambre de tu boca, de tu voz, de tu pelo,
y por las calles voy sin nutrirme, callado,
no me sostiene el pan, el alba me desquicia,
busco el sonido liquido de tus pies en el dia.
Estoy hambriento de tu sonrisa resbalada,
de tus manos color de furioso granero,
tengo hambre de la palida piedra de tus uñas,
quiero comer tu piel como una intacta almendra.
Quiero comer el rayo quemado en tu hermosura,
la nariz soberana del arrogante rostro,
quiero comer la sombra fugaz de tus pestañas
y hambriento vengo y voy olfateando el crepusculo
buscandote, buscando tu corazón caliente
como un puma en la soledad de Quitratue.
I only know a little Spanish, but I would translate la soledad as solitude instead of barrens.
'Solitude' is what my Spanish/English dictionary comes up with- perhaps it's a Chilean phrase. I would translate that first line as 'I am hungry for...'
Yes, "soledad de Quitratue" definitely means "solitude of Quitratue."
Perhaps the translator thought (correctly) that English-language readers wouldn't know what Quitratue is like so they wouldn't have an image of it. They might think of a Puma in a rain forest, and "barrens" is meant to let them know that it's desert terrain. ?
Or trying to convey something like 'wilds,' which is where any sensible puma would live. A coyote, on the other paw, might opt for downtown, or at least the suburbs.
Surprising how few of the Internet sites giving this poem credit the translator, Stephen Tapscott.
To me, the word 'barrens' is an inspired translation of 'la soledad'. Echoing the pacing of the puma, describing the essential character of the area, and avoiding the pathetic fallacy overtone of 'solitude'. With the addition of the exotic name 'Quitratue' you can just picture the flicking of the big cat's tail.
In Australia we don't refer to our deserts as 'barrens'. I gather the expression doesn't mean a desert in our sense of an exceptionally arid or stony zone, but rather land that is infertile or unfruitful for whatever reason. My dictionary cites 'the famous pine barrens of America'. So I guess the expression could refer even to suburban areas that are environmentally degraded and not worth planting.
Pine BARRENS ???
I thought it was Pine Barons ... like railroad barons!
Oh, how retroactively embarrassing. Once again, its the non-Yanks who know the most about the U.S.A.
Isn't there a famous pine barrons in New Jersey? [www.pineypower.com] />
Post Edited (09-22-03 13:05)
Let down your hair.
Come on over here.
Open your mouth.
Shut up,take your hair out of your mouth and let's get on with it.