VOICE

I don't know how far I'm going to have to go
To see my own self or to hear my own voice
I tuned in on the radio and for hours never heard it
And then I went to the moving pictures show
And never heard it there
I put handsful of coins into machines and watched records turn
But the voice there was no voice of mine
I mean it was not my voice
The words not my words that I hear in my own ears
When I walk along and look at your faces
I set here in a Jewish delicattassen, I order a hot pastrami
Sandwitch on rye bread and I hear the lady ask me
Would you like to have a portion of cole slaw on the side
And I knew when I heard her speak that
She spoke my voice
And I told her I would take my slaw on a side dish
And would like to have a glass of tea with lemon
And she knew that I was speaking her words
And a fellow sat across at a table near my wall
And spoke while he ate his salami and drank his beer
And somehow I had the feeling
As I heard him speak, and he spoke a long time,
But not one word was in my personal language,
And I could tell by the deep sound, by the full tone
Of his voice that he spoke my language
I suppose you may wonder just how he could speak
In a dialect that I could not savvy nor understand
And yet understand every sound that he made
I learned to do this a long time ago
Walking up and down the sideroads and the main stems
Of this land here
I learned to listen this way when I washed dishes on the ships
I had to learn how to do it when I walked ashore in Africa
And in Scotland and in Ireland and in Britain,
London, Liverpool, Glasgow, Scots towns and Anglo's farms,
Irish canals and railroad bridges, Highlander's cows and horses
And here I knew the speech was the same as mine but
It was the dialect again, nasal, throaty, deep chesty,
From the stomach, lungs, high in the head, pitched up and down,
And here I had to learn again
To say this is my language and part of my voice
Oh but I have not even heard this voice, these voices,
On the stages, screens, radios, records, juke boxes,
In magazines nor not in newspapers, seldom in courtrooms,
And more seldom when students and policemen study the faces
Behind the voices
And I thought as I saw a drunken streetwalking man mutter
And spit and curse into the wind out of the cafe's plate glass,
That maybe, if I looked close enough, I might hear
Some more of my voice
And I ate as quiet as I could, so as to keep my eyes
And my ears and my feelings wide open
And did hear
Heard all that I came to hear here in Coney Island's Jewish air
Heard reflections, recollections, seen faces in memory,
Heard voices untangle their words before me
And I knew by the feeling I felt that here was my voice.

— Woody Guthrie



In: Marsh, Dave and Harold Leventhal, eds. Pastures of Plenty: The Unpublished Writings of An American Folk Hero (New York: HarperPerennial, 1990), pp. xxv-xxvi.


Voĉo de Woody Guthrie
tradukis Ralph Dumain

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