Monday, May 14, 2007

Memoria Historikoa, or Historical Memory, by Kirmen Uribe, translated from the Basque by Elizabeth Macklin

Londres. Brixton auzoa. Eskuot batean hiru japoniar.
Afaria egin dugu. Bihar hegaldia daukat Bilbora.
Te beroaz Bigarren Mundu Gerra hizpide.
Japoniako zaharrek horri buruz ez dute ezer esaten,
kontatu du batek. Are gehiago, eskola-liburuetan
ez da gerrari buruz ia aipamenik agertzen.
Gutxi gorabehera, esaldi bakar hau:
“Bigarren Mundu Gerra
1942-1945 urteetan gertatu zen eta
Hiroshima eta Nagasakiko bonbekin amaitu”.

Hegaldian noa Bilbora.
Txiki-txikiak dira hemendik Bizkaiko etxeak.



London. Brixton. Three Japanese in a squat.
We’ve had supper. Tomorrow I fly to Bilbao.
Over hot tea, speaking of the Second World War:
The old people of Japan tell nothing about it,
one says. What’s more, in the schoolbooks
there’s nearly no mention at all of the war.
Or, more or less, this lone sentence:
“The Second World War
took place between 1942 and 1945 and
ended with the bombs at Nagasaki and Hiroshima.”

Now on the flight to Bilbao.
The houses of Vizcaya are minute from here.

published with author's permission

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