Monday, February 6, 2012

The Blue Bird by Ruben Dario

The Blue Bird, This is the English translation of the Poem written by Ruben Dario call "El Pajaro Azul" (The Blue Bird), I been working on the translation of this beautiful story, always trying to get the most accurate version of the story.

here it is, please enjoy and leave your comments.

The Blue Bird.

Translated by Jose Hidalgo.
Paris,  amusing and terrible stage. Among the busy “Café Plombier”, good and purposeful boys – painters, sculptors, poets – yes, everyone looks for the old green laurel! None more beloved, that the poor Garcin, almost always sad, good drinker of absinth, dreamer that never gets drunk, and, an unexceptionable bohemian, Fine Improviser.

In the impaired room of our happy meetings, the chalk of the walls kept, among the sketches and lines of future clays, verses, whole stanzas written in toss and gross letters of our beloved Blue Bird.

The Blue bird was the poor Garzin. Do you know why he was called that? We baptized him with that name.

That was not because our vagary. That excellent boy had a sad gaze. When we asked him why when all of us laughed as fools, he with a glowering glance at the roof, would answer with a bittersweet smile…

-Friends: I want you to know that I have a blue bird on my brain, therefore….


It’d happen that he liked to go to the Countryside at the beginning of spring. The air of the forest did well to his lungs, as the poet said.

From his excursions he used to bring branches of violets and thick booklet of madrigal, written at the sound of the leaves and under the wide and cloudless sky. The violets were for Nini, his Neighbor, a nice and pretty lady that had such blue eyes.

The verses were for us. We’d read them and applaud them. We all had praise for Garcin. He was a genius that must shine.  Time would come. Oh, The blue bird would flight so High.

* * *

Principles of Garcin:

From the flowers, the beautiful bells.

Among the beautiful stones, the sapphire. From the immensity, the sky and the love: meaning, the pupils of Nini.

And He repeated: I believe, is always preferable the Neurosis to Idiocy.

* * *

There were times when Garcin was more sad than usual.
He walked by the boulevards, he looked at the luxurious carriages with indifference, the elegant gentlemen’s, the beautiful women.  In a Jewelers  window he smiled; but when he passed by the book store, he would walk to the showcases, to admire, and at seeing the luxurious editions, he’d declare himself, envious, Shrivel his brow; to embosom he would turn his face to the sky and sigh. He’d run to the café looking for us, moved, exalted, almost crying, he asked for a glass of absinth and he said:-Yes!, inside the cage of my brain a blue bird is prisoner and he wants his freedom…

* * *

There were some who used to believe in the break of mind.

A psychologist that heard the news of what happened classified the case as a special monomania.

His pathological studies left no doubt.

Decidedly, the poor Garcin was mad/insane.

One day he received from his father, an old citizen from Normandy and merchandiser of cloth, a card that said, more or less:

“I know about your madness in Paris. While you stay that way, you will not have a single penny. Come to take the books of my warehouse, and when you had burn the manuscripts of foolishness you will have my money.”

This card was read at “Café Plombier”.

-would you leave? -¿Y te irás?

- you won’t leave?-¿No te irás?

-Do you accept? -¿Aceptas?

- would you ignore it? -¿Desdeñas?

Bravo Garcin!! He ripped the letter and was inspired, he improvised a few verses that if I remember well they said:

"Yes!  I’ll ways be a loafer,
to which I applaud and celebrate,
as long as my brain is
the cage of the Blue Bird!!"

Since then Garcin changed his character. He became chatty, he took a bath of happiness,  bought a new frock coat, and began a poem in tercets to which he called, it is clear: The Blue Bird!.

Every night we read something new of the poem. It was great, Sublime, crazy.

There was a Beautiful sky, a very cool countryside, as if there were bursting forth from the magic brush of Corot, the faces of children peering among the flowers, the large and wet eyes of Nini, and in addition
The good God who sends, flying, over all that, a blue bird that without knowing how or when nested inside the brain of the poet, in which he is imprisoned. When the bird sings, lines are bright and pink. When the bird wants to fly it open its wings and it turns against the walls of the skull, his eyes rise to the sky, he wrinkled his forehead and drinks absinthe with a little water, smoking, a cigarette paper.

Here is the poem
One night came Garcin Laughing a lot and yet, very sad.

* * *

The beautiful Neighbor had been driven to the cemetery.

-A Story! News! Last song of my poem. Nini has died. Come spring and Nini is gone.
Savings of Violets to the countryside. Now it remains the epilogue of the poem. The editors did not deign to even read my verses. You will have to disperse them quickly. Law of time. The epilogue is titled as: “How the Blue bird takes flight into the blue sky.”

* * *

Full Spring! The trees bloom, the pink clouds in the pale dawn and evening, the soft air that moves the leaves and makes the ribbons of straw hats flap with a special noise! Garcin has not gone to the field.

There he comes, with new clothes, to our beloved “Café Plombier”, pale, with a sad smile.

-My Friends, a hug! Hug me all, so strong; tell me goodbye with all your heart, with all your soul… The blue bird Flies.

And poor Garcin cried, we hugged, we clasped hands with all his strength and left.

We all said: Garcin, The prodigal son seeks his father, the old Norman. Muses, Goodbye, Goodbye, thank you. Our poet decides to measure rags! Hey! A drink for Garcin!

Pale, Frightened, saddened, the next day, every customer of Café “Plombier” that used to put in that little shabby room so much noise,   were in the room of Garcin. He was in his bed, on the bloody sheets, his skull broken by a bullet. On the pillow were fragments of brain mass. How Horrible!

When, after shock of our first impression, we were able to mourn over the body of our friend, we found that it was with him the famous poem. On the last page had written these words: “Today, in the middle of spring, I left open the cage door of the poor Blue Bird.

* * *

Ay, Garcin, How many more carry on their brain your same disease!

By Ruben Dario


  1. I'm reading this for class and this was a beautiful translation. Thank you!

  2. Its very good! Congrats! Love it!❤

  3. Great translation! Buenísimo gracias