This work was commissioned by Elroy Friesen and the University of Manitoba Singers for their 2008 tour of Argentina and Paraguay. The commission was made possible with financial assistance from the Manitoba Arts Council.
Tú me dijiste: no lloró mi padre;
Tú me dijiste: no lloró mi abuelo;
No han llorado los hombres de me raza,
Eran de acero.
Así diciendo te brotó una lágrima
Y me cayó en la boca… más veneno.
Yo no he bebido nunca en otro vaso
Débil mujer, pobre mujer que entiende,
Dolor de siglos conocí al beberlo:
Oh, el alma mía soportar no puede
Todo su peso.
Alfonsina Storni (1892-1938)
Once you told me my father never wept;
Once you told me his father never wept;
The men of my line have never wept
They were made of steel.
As you were saying this your cried a tear
That dropped into my mouth… I have never
drunk more of poison than I did
from that little cup.
Vulnerable woman, poor and comprehending woman,
When I tasted it I knew the pain of centuries.
Oh, my soul cannot endure
All of its burden.
translated Andrew Rosing