a wandering woman writes

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

No te salves

One day, very early in my 17 day stay in Arrés, a Spanish pilgrim slammed her notebook down on the table in front of me, flipped forward a few pages, and, looking me straight in the eyes, gave me a direct order.

"Read this."

Next morning before heading back to the Camino, she tore it from her book and gave it to me. It faced me every morning from the shelf above my bed in the hospitaleros' room.

She gave me Benedetti, in Spanish. No te salves.

Here you have it, then. Below. Treat number 2, as I've just googled it. A quick look hasn't yielded a translation I love, but this is my favorite, transcribed below.

No te salves. I'll be back Thursday, once I've landed safely in Salamanca and (finally) met Alex, with whom I hope to rendezvous in Madrid.

No te salves/Don't Save Yourself

by Mario Benedetti

Don't stay motionless by the roadside
don't freeze joy or love halfheartedly
don't save yourself
or ever
don't save yourself
don't become
don't keep only a still corner in this world
don't let your eyelids droop heavy
like judgements
don't stay without lips
don't sleep without dreams,
imagine you're bloodless or judge yourself in haste

but if
after all
you can't help it
and you freeze joy
and you love halfheartedly
and you save yourself,
become serene,
keep a still corner in the world
let your eyelids drop heavy as judgements
and stay without lips
and sleep without dreams,
imagine yourself bloodless,
judge yourself in haste and
stay motionless by the side of the road

and you save yourself
don't stay with me.


  • Love you. Love Ralphie. Love this.

    By Anonymous Laura, at 3:12 PM  

  • Absolutely Beautiful...tears to my eyes beautiful...

    By Blogger rkibbe, at 2:49 PM  

  • Best wishes in your next adventure.

    By Blogger Nomadita, at 8:45 PM  

  • Yeh, gorgeous, isn't it? And the way it fell into my hands, too.

    Thanks nomadita. Same to you, living up to your name this month. :)

    By Blogger wandering-woman, at 6:54 PM  

  • You are right about not being a very Good translation. Much more powerful and meaningfully in Spanish. Will post what I think is a closer version to what the author wanted to express soon.

    By Blogger Fernando, at 11:44 AM  

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