(Picture by Laura Morán Domínguez, 1ºBCH.D)

domingo, 27 de noviembre de 2011

A poem by Santos Domínguez

Santos Domínguez is a Spanish and Literature teacher at Norba school. He has recently been awarded the important Villa de Aoíz Prize in its XXXV edition for his poem "Ayer no te vi en Babilonia".

Rick Hite, Professor Emeritus at Virginia Wesleyan College, has kindly translated this beautiful poem for our blog.

We offer the original version in Spanish followed by its English version.

Thank you, Rick. Congratulations, Santos.

(Tabla de arcilla, 3000 a. C)

Cinco mil años pesan sobre esta arcilla viva
en la que un hombre hablaba una lengua de barro.

Como la nieve al lobo, sus palabras delatan
su extrañeza de siglos, sus tiempos estelares
y el espacio incesante y fluvial, el latido
de un corazón ausente.

Miles de años después, otra lengua diría
-y era una voz de sombra-: “Te veré en Babilonia.”
Era una voz de sombra que anunciaba la muerte
y la pira encendida para un héroe sin tiempo.

Pasaron cazadores de serpientes,
se callaron los gallos del arrabal y el viento
fue bajando a los ríos y apagando las velas.

Tiempo, espacio y el nombre de una ciudad sin sueño.

Con música insondable,
cae la sombra del hielo en el desierto y lejos,
en arroyos secretos,
beberán los caballos lentamente en la orilla.

Las cúpulas de cuarzo brillan bajo la luna.
Bajo esa misma luna sigue temblando aún
-no te vi en Babilonia-
la voz de arcilla frágil que escribió su temblor
con un tallo sumerio, con un punzón de ausencia.
Con un punzón de angustia esas palabras lentas
y urgentes; no te vi en Babilonia.

Simples como una herida de escarcha en los planetas,
un pájaro de nieve sigue latiendo en ellas.


(Clay Tablet, 3000 B.C.)

Five thousand years weigh heavy on this vibrant piece of clay

whereupon a man was speaking a language made of mud.

Like the wolf’s tracks in the snow, his very words give away

his century’s old strangeness, that so stellar age of his,

and all the space unceasing, ever flowing, the beating

of a heart now so absent.

Thousands of years afterwards, and another tongue would say

-- And it was a shadow’s voice -- : “I’ll meet you in Babylon.”

Yes, it was a shadow’s voice that was foretelling the death

and the pyre already ablaze for some timeless hero.

The hunters of serpents passed by on their way,

and the cocks in the slums of town fell silent, and the wind

went sweeping down to the rivers blowing out the candles.

Time and space and the name of a city always sleepless.

With music unsoundable,

the shadow of ice falls across the desert, and far off,

along hidden arroyos,

the horses will be drinking slowly at every bank side.

The cupolas of quartz are shinning bright beneath the moon.

And beneath that very moon still trembles even today

-- I missed you, in Babylon –

the voice in clay, so fragile which wrote down its own trembling

with some Sumerian reed, with indentions of absence.

With indentions of anguish, those words impressed so slowly,

so urgently: I missed you, in Babylon.

Words as simple as a wounding frostbite on the planets,

some bird with snowy feathers keeps beating deep inside them.

viernes, 25 de noviembre de 2011


Today we celebrate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Read this beautiful poem about the strengh women have. The author is Maya Angelou, an American poet.

Still I Rise

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
'Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops.
Weakened by my soulful cries.

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
'Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin' in my own back yard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I'll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Maya Angelou

jueves, 24 de noviembre de 2011

Thanksgiving day in the United States

Today is the fourth Thursday of November and American people celebrate Thanksgiving day. The celebration often extends to the weekend that falls closest to the day it is celebrated. In Canada Thanksgiving day is on the second Monday of October, probably due to the earlier onset of winter in the north. Do you fancy cooking a typical Thanksgiving dinner? Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green been casserole, sweet potatoe pie, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie... Why not...

To learn about the history of the first Thanksgiving, watch this video our English teacher Emilia Gutiérrez found for us:


And here you have another one:


martes, 8 de noviembre de 2011

Rubalcaba and Rajoy head to head

"The only head-to-head televised debate of the Spanish general election campaign focused heavily on the crisis-ridden economy, and after a tightly fought contest, Mariano Rajoy remains on course for an overwhelming victory on November 20.

The conservative Popular Party (PP) candidate went into the debate with a 15-point poll lead and seeking to make Spain’s 21-percent jobless rate the hub of the debate. His opponent Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba has been a key member of the Socialist government, something Rajoy reminded him of on more than one occasion.

“You’re coming up with all these proposals. Why didn’t you do all these things before?” Rajoy asked, highlighting a glaring weakness in Rubalcaba’s position.

The former Socialist interior minister had little choice but to accept the dire state of the Spanish economy from the start. He gave a frank analysis of the crisis, followed by a volley of proposals that were designed to distance himself from Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero.

These included encouraging small businesses with cheaper credit, incentivising hiring of workers by offering to pay Social Security contributions, and an appeal for flexibility from the EU on reducing the public deficit. He also advocated boosting research and development and restoring the property sector in a balanced way.

Rubalcaba also reached out to left-wing voters with a promise to protect the kind of social rights that Zapatero has been eroding over the last year. “We mustn’t let the crisis undermine the basic rights that we have,” he said.

Rubalcaba also sought to turn his biggest weakness –employment– into a weapon, accusing Rajoy of plotting to deregulate the labour market and slash jobless benefits.

Rajoy’s strategy was obvious: to underline the Socialists’ mismanagement of the economy, something he managed reasonably effectively. His problems were more related to his image: his stiff demeanour, an obsession with referring to notes while speaking and his slightly weird, glassy glare when listening. The PP leader also had difficulty in getting Rubalcaba’s name right, instead repeatedly calling him “Sr. Rodríguez Zapatero”, betraying both nerves and the fact that these two politicians had never before engaged in debate."



lunes, 7 de noviembre de 2011

Congratulations, Paula

Paula Carrapiso Galán, from 2º Bachillerato A, has just won the regional spelling contest. Now she is waiting for the national competition. Congratulations and good luck.

miércoles, 2 de noviembre de 2011

Letters to baby 7 billion

"Dear kid, welcome to our mess." Read some of the best letters the Guardian readers wrote to baby 7 billion. Click here. and send your own letter.


We can listen to Coldplay in the Music blog. Don't miss it!

The world population

Learn about the world population and some other interesting things in the Geography blog


Interested in bodybuilding? Read 3rd year students' comments about this controversial activity. Click here.

Novelist Julian Barnes Man Booker Prize 2011

The novelist Julian Barnes won the Man Booker Prize for “The Sense of an Ending,” a slim and meditative story of mortality, frustration and regret. Read more.