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Tino Villanueva's "Mas la Voz Que el Tiempo"  April 21, 2007E-mail this story E-mail this story
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Tino Villanueva
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Weekend America continues to spotlight National Poetry Month with poet Tino Villanueva reads his poem "Mas la Voz Que el Tiempo," translated into English by Lisa Horowitz.

Voice Over Time

I wanted to write so badly it hurt.
All afternoon tied to a desk,
to a page flat out on a table--
I was getting nowhere,
just fending off failure and the darkening light.

I want to say hours passed,
then days: and how to grasp the essence that came shimmering in air
and the obscuring shade?
How exactly to say it, to get it laid out on paper with my pencil or pen?
Slow, so slow, this process of clear recollection, of sifting back
through the shadows of memory-- there, too, is life.

Oh memory, my memory,
give me back what is mine and guide me in the very telling of
everything that stayed behind --may my voice win over time.


[Translation of "Mas la voz que el tiempo" by Tino Villanueva
Copyright © 1999 by Lisa Horowitz, from Primera causa / First Cause
Merrick, NY: Cross-Cultural Communications, 1999]