Koloso Berria (Euskara)

Translated into Basque by Amaia Gabantxo and Miren Agur Meabe

I arrived in the USA in 2011, following an instinct for adventure inherited from my seafaring forebears & a sense that I could do more here with my work as a writer & literary translator of Basque literature. I wanted the experience & possibilities this dynamic country. I was very happy to be able to apply for a green card “as an alien of exceptional ability” on the basis of my work translating literature from an indigenous, endangered language—there seemed to be poetic justice in that. I received it in 2017. The US is my fourth country. I don’t know which one will be my next but, wherever it may be, literature will take me there.

Amaia Gabantxo is a writer, singer, and translator who specializes in Basque literature. She is a lecturer at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago. In 2019 she released the experimental flamenco/jazz album KANTUZ: 1931, which she recorded in Chicago.

Miren Agur Meabe is a poet and translator who also specializes in the Basque literature.

Zango azpiratzailez lurrez lur igarotako
greziar erraldoi lotsagabea ez bezala,
hemen, itsas urak garbitutako sartaldeko ateetan
emakume ahaltsu bat jaikiko da, argi-zuzia eskuan.
Sugarra da tximista gatibua; Erbesteratuen Ama
du izena. Bere eskuak, itsasargiaren antzera,
dizdizka egiten dio ongi-etorri munduari; begirada gozoak
bi zubik besarkatutako hiri-portuak ditu jagoten.
“Gorde, Mundu Zaharra, joandako garaien historia handiosoa!”
aldarrikatzen du, ezpainak isil. “Emazkidazu behartsua, nekatua,
libre arnastu nahian pilatutako aldrak,
zure kosta gainezkatuetatik jaurtitako hondarrak.
Bidal itzazu nigana zokoratuak, ekar ditzala ekaitzak nigana.
Urregorrizko atearen gainean piztu dut neure argia!”

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