The Spanish Riveter: XVII by Rikardo Arregi, translated from Basque by Ángel Erro and Lawrence Schimel

I’ve always appreciated
the chlorine smell of pools.
There might be pleasanter scents,
I admit, but
for me no better exists.

Technical, precise, spotless, bitter.
Blue, chemical, penetrating.

I say I like the smell of chlorine
everyone thinks I’m crazy,

We’ve both realised it,
our bodies naked and wet,
the paradisiacal smell of chlorine
on our tight swim trunks
(not so naked, then). It’s wrapped
in damp cloth of delights,
upon our shivering flesh,
the chloride blue of the pool.

by Rikardo Arregi

Translated by Ángel Erro and Lawrence Schimel

In 2022, Arregi and Erro were the winners of the Vitoria-Gasteiz Prize for the best translation into Basque of a children’s book for their joint translation of Pintxo eta pitxitxi by Lawrence Schimel.
Unpublished. Published by permission of author & translators.

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Rikardo Arregi won the Spanish Critic’s Prize in 1993 and again in 1998 for his poetry collections. He is the translator into Basque of the work of several Portuguese poets such as Sophia de Melo, Eugénio de Andrade, and Jorge de Sena.

Ángel Erro is a translator, author and poet. He has translated collections of poems by Emily Dickinson and Rikardo Arregi, works by Grégoire Bouiller, and Walden by H.D. Thoreau. He writes a daily column for the newspaper Berria. Translations of his poetry have appeared in various English-language publications.

Lawrence Schimel is a bilingual (Spanish/English) American writer, translator, and anthologist. His work,
which frequently deals with gay and lesbian themes as well as matters of Jewish identity, often falls into the genres of science fiction and fantasy and takes the form of both poetry and prose for adults and for children.

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