rodear el ombligo — objectively (objetivamente)

Mario Benedetti

Fotografías — Alex Waterhouse-Hayward

This blog my read oddly. Some years ago I went to listen to a Spanish anthropologist called Santiago Genovés who warned us about reading history. He said that no historian could be truly objective. He said, “Objectivity is a subjective invention by man.”

As a 77 year old man I can assert that my plumbing is beyond repair. I look at women of any age and I feel that Genovés may have been wrong. I see them objectively (not as objects or objects to be desired in the ways of the 20th century) as if I were a doctor. I seem them coldly but paradoxically I am enjoying that which I see remotely. While I may have lost my sense of taste for food, I can remember and imagine what it did taste at one time. This parallels my idea that eroticism, now in my cold way of looking (feeling it in my head) is cerebral, elegant and wonderful. As wonderful as the poem below by Uruguayan poet/writer Mario Bendedetti. Unlike Jorge Luís Borges who was standofish in his writings about women, Julio Cortázar, Eduardo Galeano and Mario Benedetti are enthusiastically baroque.

Pies Hermosos — Mario Benedetti

La mujer que tiene los pies hermosos

nunca podrá ser fea

mansa suele subirle la belleza

por tobillos pantorrillas y muslos

demorarse en el pubis

que siempre ha estado más alla de todo canon

rodear el ombligo como a uno de esos timbres

que si se les presiona tocan Para Elisa

reivindicar los lúbricos pezones a la espera

entreabrir los labios sin pronunciar saliva

y dejarse querer por los ojos espejo

La mujer que tiene los pies hermosos

sabe vagabundear por la tristeza

Beautiful Feet

The woman who has beautiful feet
will never be ugly
beauty gently moves
from ankles, calves and thighs
lingers by the pubis
which has always been beyond any canon
to surround the navel as in one of those door bells
which if you press play For Elisa
to claim the slippery nipples on the wait
part lips without pronouncing saliva
and to allow to be loved by the mirrored eyes
The woman with beautiful feet
knows how to roam in sadness

My translation

Link to: rodear el ombligo — Objectively



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Into Bunny Watson. I am a Vancouver-based magazine photographer/writer. I have a popular daily blog which can be found at: