Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Really, I do love poetry. This is a country that we grow with it. The landscapes, the music we hear......
Just an example, to share with you.
Gabriela Mistral
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Gabriela Mistral, pseudonym of Lucila Godoy de Alcayaga (1889-1957), Chilean poet and stateswoman, who in 1945 became the first Latin American and the first female poet to win the Nobel Prize for literature. Born in Vicuña, Mistral became a noted educator. She traveled in Mexico, the United States, and Europe studying schools and methods of teaching. At varying times she was a visiting professor at several universities and colleges in the United States, including Barnard College, Middlebury College, and the University of Puerto Rico. For 20 years, beginning in 1933, she served as Chilean consul in various cities, including Madrid, Spain; Lisbon, Portugal; Nice, France; and Los Angeles, California. Besides being a prolific writer of poetry, Mistral also wrote prose, primarily on the behalf of society’s disenfranchised groups. She spoke out for increased social justice in Latin America and throughout the world.
Mistral’s poetry, which is full of warmth and emotion, frequently deals with the many variations of love—from intimate love to global love of humankind—and has been translated into English, French, Italian, German, and Swedish. Her works include Desolación (Desolation, 1922), Ternura (Tenderness, 1924), Tala (Destruction, 1938), and Lagar (The Wine Press, 1954). English-language collections of her poetry include Selected Poems of Gabriela Mistral (1957), translated by American writer Langston Hughes; A Gabriela Mistral Reader (1992); and Poemas de las Madres (The Mothers’ Poems, 1996), a selection of poems in both their original Spanish and their English translation. Elements of Mistral’s style and themes are found in the works of other Latin American writers such as Pablo Neruda and Octavio Paz.

19 mayo 2007
Gabriela Mistral - Piececitos
Gabriela Mistral
Piececitos Gabriela Mistral
Little feet

Piececitos de niño, Little feet of children
azulosos de frío, blue with cold,
¡cómo os ven y no os cubren, how can they see you and not cover you,
Dios mío! my God!

¡Piececitos heridos Little wounded feet
por los guijarros todos, cut all of them by pebbles,
ultrajados de nieves outraged by snow
y lodos! and mire!

El hombre ciego ignora Blind man ignores
que por donde pasáis, that where you walk,
una flor de luz viva a flower of living light
dejáis; you leave;

que allí donde ponéis that where you put
la plantita sangrante, your little bleeding sole,
el nardo nace más the spikenard raises more
fragante. fragrant.

Sed, puesto que marcháis Be, since you march
por los caminos rectos, by the straight paths,
heróicos como sois heroic as you are
perfectos. perfect.

Piececitos de niño, Little feet of children,
dos joyitas sufrientes, two tiny suffering jewels,
¡cómo pasan sin veros how can people pass
las gentes! and not see you!

Gabriela Mistral

Gabriela Mistral, 1941. (credit: Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.)
Gabriela Mistral(1922): Poems

I Am Not Alone
The night, it is deserted
from the mountains to the sea.
But I, the one who rocks you,
I am not alone!
The sky, it is deserted
for the moon falls to the sea.
But I, the one who holds you,
I am not alone !
The world, it is deserted.
All flesh is sad you see.
But I, the one who hugs you,
I am not alone!
Gabriela Mistral: Tiny Feet (1922)
How does the poet make the child's tiny feet express its suffering?
A child's tiny feet,
Blue, blue with cold,
How can they see and not protect you?
Oh, my God!
Tiny wounded feet,
Bruised all over by pebbles,
Abused by snow and soil!
Man, being blind, ignores
that where you step, you leave
A blossom of bright light,
that where you have placed
your bleeding little soles
a redolent tuberose grows.
Since, however, you walk
through the streets so straight,
you are courageous, without fault.
Child's tiny feet,
Two suffering little gems,
How can the people pass, unseeing.
Translated by Mary Gallwey
Canción de la Muerte
La vieja Empadronadora,
la mañosa Muerte,
cuando vaya de camino,
mi niño no encuentre.
La que huele a los nacidos
y husmea su leche,
encuentre sales y harinas,
mi leche no encuentre.
La Contra-Madre del Mundo,
la Convida-gentes,
por las playas y las rutas
no halle al inocente.
El nombre de su bautismo
--la flor con que crece —
lo olvide la memoriosa,
lo pierda, la Muerte.
De vientos, de sal y arenas
se vuelve demente,
y trueque, la desvariada,
el Oeste, y el Este.
Niño y madre los confunda
los mismo que peces,
y en el día y en la hora
a mí sola encuentre.
Song of Death
Old Woman Census-taker,
Death the Trickster,
when you're going along,
don't you meet my baby.
Sniffing at newborns,
smelling for the milk,
find salt, find cornmeal,
don't find my milk.
Anti-Mother of the world,
People-Collector —
on the beaches and byways,
don't meet that child.
The name he was baptized,
that flower he grows with,
forget it, Rememberer.
Lose it, Death.
Let wind and salt and sand
drive you crazy, mix you up
so you can't tell
East from West,
or mother from child,
like fish in the sea.
And on the day, at the hour,
find only me.

Dame la Mano
Dame la mano y danzaremos;
dame la mano y me amarás.
Come una sola flor seremos,
come una flor, y nada más...
El mismo verso cantaremos,
al mismo paso bailarás.
Como una espiga ondularemos,
como una espiga, y nada más.
Te llama Rosa y yo Esperanza:
pero tu nombre olvidarás,
porque seremos una danza
en la colina, y nada más...
Give Me Your Hand
Give me your hand and give me your love,
give me your hand and dance with me.
A single flower, and nothing more,
a single flower is all we'll be.
Keeping time in the dance together,
you'll be singing the song with me.
Grass in the wind, and nothing more,
grass in the wind is all we'll be.
I'm called Hope and you're called Rose:
but losing our names we'll both go free,
a dance on the hills, and nothing more,
a dance on the hills is all we'll be.

Canto que Amabas
Yo canto lo que tú amabas, vida mía,
por si te acercas y escuchas, vida mía,
por si te acuerdas del mundo que viviste,
al aterdecer yo canto, sombra mía.
Yo no quiero enmudecer, vida mía.
¿Cómo sin mi grito fiel me hallarías?
¿Cuál señal, cuál me declara, vida mía?
Soy la misma que fue tuya, vida mía.
Ni lenta ni trascordada ni perdida.
Acude al anochecer, vida mía,
ven recordando un canto, vida mía,
si la canción reconoces de aprendida
y si mi nombre recuerdas todavía.
Te espero sin plazo y sin tiempo.
No temas noche, nebline ni aguacero.
Acude con sendero o sin sendero.
Llámame adonde tú eres, alma mía,
y marcha recto hacia mí, compañero.
What You Loved
Life of my life, what you loved I sing.
If you're near, if you're listening,
think of me now in the evening:
shadow in shadows, hear me sing.
Life of my life, I can't be still.
What is a story we never tell?
How can you find me unless I call?
Life of my life, I haven't changed,
not turned aside and not estranged.
Come to me as the shadows grow long,
come, life of my life, if you know the song
you used to know, if you know my name.
I and the song are still the same.
Beyond time or place I keep the faith.
Follow a path or follow no path,
never fearing the night, the wind,
call to me, come to me, now at the end,
walk with me, life of my life, my friend

(born April 7, 1889, Vicuña, Chile — died Jan. 10, 1957, Hempstead, N.Y., U.S.) Chilean poet. Mistral combined writing with a career as a cultural minister and diplomat and as a professor in the U.S. Her reputation as a poet was established in 1914 when she won a prize for three "Sonnets of Death." Her passionate lyrics, with love of children and of the downtrodden as principal themes, are collected in such volumes as Desolation (1922), Destruction (1938), and The Wine Press (1954). In 1945 she became the first Latin American to win the Nobel Prize for Literature.
My Comment:
I went to the town she was born, poor, hidden in the north valleys, but you cannot imagine how she wrote when she was just 17 yo. As always, they said she stole some paper, she was expelled from school as a teacher. She came to Santiago, where inspired by a beloved friend who commit suicide, (many say that he was her love, and that is not true), she wrote Sonnets of Death.
She sent them to a contest, very important at that time, she was there when they announced that the sonnet she wrote has won , but, she ashamed of herself, her poor clothes, not nice face, she just enjoy, and she stayed in her place. Nobody knows at that time who she was.
Without noticing we sang many of her poems, as child songs, and you can find them so simple, and so beautiful at the same time, now I can understand the real meaning of them. They are so deep, I have most of her work.
Her main contribution was for the women, prose, letters.
She won the Nobel Prize, and 6 years later our National Prize (imagine how they liked her, chauvinist men).
She went to Mexico , US, and Brazil, where she spent the rest of her life, and died in New York.
Even now, most of the people don´t know her life, many of her books were not aloud here, Gabriela , born as Lucila Godoy, had an affair with another Chilean poet, Magallanes Moure, the love of her life, but they never got marry, and their love was just known few years ago. Imagine the impact that was!!. She raised a child, Chin-chin, he died in Brazil. Nobody knows if he was really her child or someone else, as she claimed.
As you can see, we grow with poetry since we are born. Me? No, I do like to read but it is so difficult to write, so many rules, beside they rime, you must count the numbers which words in poetry are counted.

Gracias a La Vida (Thank you to Life)

poem by Violeta Parra
English translation by William Morín

Violeta Parra

Gracias a la vida, que me ha dado tanto. Thank you to life, which has given me so much.
Me dió dos luceros, que cuando los abro. It gave me two beams of light, that when opened,
Perfecto distingo lo negro del blanco Can perfectly distinguish black from white
Y en el alto cielo su fondo estrellado, And in the sky above, her starry backdrop,
Y en las multitudes And from within the multitude
el hombre que yo amo. The one that I love.

Gracias a la vida, que me ha dado tanto. Thank you to life, which has given me so much.
Me ha dado el oído que en todo su ancho It gave me an ear that, in all of its width
Graba noche y día grillos y canarios Records— night and day—crickets and canaries,
Martillos, turbinas, ladrillos, chubascos Hammers and turbines and bricks and storms,
Y la voz tan tierna de mi bien amado. And the tender voice of my beloved.

Gracias a la vida, que me ha dado tanto. Thank you to life, which has given me so much.
Me ha dado el sonido y el abecedario. It gave me sound and the alphabet.
Con él las palabras que pienso y declaro, With them the words that I think and declare:
“Madre,” “amigo,”hermano,” y luz alumbrando “Mother,” “Friend,” “Brother” and the light shining.
La ruta del alma del que estoy amando. The route of the soul from which comes love.

Gracias a la vida, que me ha dado tanto. Thank you to life, which has given me so much.
Me ha dado la marcha de mis pies cansados. It gave me the ability to walk with my tired feet.
Con ellos anduve ciudades y charcos, With them I have traversed cities and puddles
Valles y desiertos, montañas y llanos, Valleys and deserts, mountains and plains.
Y la casa tuya, tu calle y tu patio. And your house, your street and your patio.

Gracias a la vida, que me ha dado tanto. Thank you to life, which has given me so much.
Me dió el corazón, que agita su marco. It gave me a heart, that causes my frame to shudder,
Cuando miro el fruto del cerebro humano, When I see the fruit of the human brain,
Cuando miro al bueno tan lejos del malo. When I see good so far from bad,
Cuando miro el fondo de tus ojos claros. When I see within the clarity of your eyes…

Gracias a la vida, que me ha dado tanto. Thank you to life, which has given me so much.
Me ha dado la risa, me ha dado el llanto. It gave me laughter and it gave me longing.
Así yo distingo dicha de quebranto, With them I distinguish happiness and pain—
Los dos materiales que forman mi canto, The two materials from which my songs are formed,
Y el canto de ustedes que es el mismo canto. And your song, as well, which is the same song.
Y el canto de todos que es mi propio canto And everyone’s song, which is my very song.

And your song, as well, which is the same song.
And everyone’s song, which is my very song

Translation singed by Joan Baez

Thank you, life, for giving me so much.
She gave me two bright stars, that when opened,
Can perfectly distinguish black from white
And high in the sky, the starry background,
And within the crowd the man that I love.

Thank you, life, for giving me so much.
She gave me ears that, in all of its wide
Record- night and day -crickets and canaries,
Hammers, turbines, bricks and showers,
And the tender voice of my beloved.

Thank you, life, for giving me so much.
She gave me sound and the alphabet.
With them the words that I think and declare:
"Mother," "Friend," "Brother" and light brightening,
The way of the soul of my lover.

Thank you, life, for giving me so much.
She gave me the wandering of my tired feet.
With them I've walked cities and puddles
Valleys and deserts, mountains and plains.
And your house, your street and your courtyard.

Thank you, life, for giving me so much.
She gave me a heart, that shakes its contention,
When I see the fruit of the human brain,
When I see kindness so far from what is bad,
When I look inside your bright eyes...

Thank you, life, for giving me so much.
She gave me laughter as well as mourning.
With both I distinguish happiness from pain -
Two of the ingredients that conform my singing,
As well as your song, that is mine too,
And the song of all, that is my own singing.

Thank you life! Thank you life! Thank you life! Thank you life!
Pablo Neruda

Pablo Neruda: arguably the most influential Latin American poet of our time. Considered a poetic genius, the Picasso of poetry. It is because of his works that I became fascinated with poetry. These are some of his best works... and personal favorites. Do not read this as if it were a newspaper or a book. Take the time to analyze it... understand it... feel it... and savor it....
...You can say anything you want, yessir, but it's the words that sing, they soar and descend...I bow to them...I love them, I cling to them, I run them down, I bite into them, I melt them down...I love words so much...The unexpected ones...The ones I wait for greedily or stalk until, suddenly, they drop...
-Pablo Neruda
Pablo Neruda
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Pablo Neruda

Born Neftalí Ricardo Reyes Basoalto
July 12, 1904
Parral, Chile

Died September 23, 1973 (aged 69)
Santiago, Chile

Poet, Diplomat, Political figure

Notable award(s) Nobel Prize in Literature
Pablo Neruda (July 12, 1904–September 23, 1973) was the pen name and, later, legal name of the Chilean writer and politician Neftalí Ricardo Reyes Basoalto.
With his works translated into many languages, Pablo Neruda is considered one of the greatest and most influential poets of the 20th century. Neruda was accomplished in a variety of styles ranging from erotically charged love poems like his collection Twenty Poems of Love and a Song of Despair, surrealist poems, historical epics, and overtly political manifestos. In 1971 Neruda won the Nobel Prize for Literature, a controversial award because of his political activism. Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez once called him "the greatest poet of the 20th century in any language".[1]

• From the Heights of Maccho Picchu by Pablo Neruda
• Translated by Jodey Bateman

• Rise up to be born with me, brother.
• Give me your hand from the deep
Zone seeded by your sorrow.
You won’t return from under the rocks.
You won’t return from your subterranean time.
Your hardened voice won’t return.
Your gouged-out eyes won’t return.
• Look at me from the depth of the earth,
laborer, weaver, silent shepherd:
tamer of wild llamas like spirit images:
construction worker on a daring scaffold:
waterer of the tears of the Andes:
jeweler with broken fingers:
farmer trembling as you sow:
potter, poured out into your clay:
bring to the cup of this new life
your old buried sorrows.
Show me your blood and your furrow,
Tell me, “Here I was punished,
Because the jewel didn’t shine or the earth
Didn’t yield grain or stones on time.”
Show me the stone you fell over
And the wood on which they crucified you,
Make a spark from the old flints for me,
For the old lamps to show the whips still stuck
After centuries in the old wounds
And the axes shining with blood.
I come to speak for your dead mouth.
Across the earth come together all
The silent worn-out lips
And from the depth speak to me all this long night
Like I was pinned down there with you.
Tell me all, chain by chain,
Link by link and step by step,
Sharpen the knives which you hid,
Put them in my breast and in my hand,
Like a river of yellow lighting
Like a river of buried jaguars
And let me weep, hours, days, years,
For blind ages, cycles of stars.
• Give me silence, water, hope.
• Give me struggle, iron, volcanoes.
• Stick bodies to me like magnets.
• Draw near to my veins and my mouth.
• Speak through my words and my blood.

Poetry_Poema20 (Pablo Neruda)
Veinte poemas de amor y una canción desesperada. Poema 20
Puedo escribir los versos mas tristes esta noche.
Escribir, por ejemplo: “La noche esta estrellada, y
tiritan, azules, los astros, a lo lejos”.
El viento de la noche gira en el cielo y canta.
Puedo escribir los versos mas tristes esta noche.
Yo la quise, y a veces ella también me quiso.
En las noches como esta la tuve entre mis brazos.
La bese tantas veces bajo el cielo infinito.
Ella me quiso, a veces yo también la quería.
Como no haber amado sus grandes ojos fijos.
Puedo escribir los versos mas tristes esta noche.
Pensar que no la tengo. Sentir que la he perdido.
Oír la noche inmensa, mas inmensa sin ella.
Y el verso cae al alma como al pasto el rocío.
Que importa que mi amor no pudiera guardarla.
La noche esta estrellada y ella no esta conmigo.
Eso es todo. A lo lejos alguien canta. A lo lejos.
Mi alma no se contenta con haberla perdido.
Como para acercarla mi mirada la busca.
Mi corazón la busca, y ella no esta conmigo.
La misma noche que hace blanquear los mismos arboles.
Nosotros, los de entonces, ya no somos los mismos.
Ya no la quiero, es cierto, pero cuanto la quise.
Mi voz buscaba el viento para tocar su oído.
De otro. Será de otro. Como antes de mis besos.
Su voz, su cuerpo claro. Sus ojos infinitos.
Ya no la quiero, es cierto, pero tal vez la quiero.
Es tan corto el amor, y es tan largo el olvido.
Porque en noches como esta la tuve entre mis brazos,
mi alma no se contenta con haberla perdido.
Aunque este sea el ultimo dolor que ella me causa,
y estos sean los últimos versos que yo le escribo.
Pablo Neruda

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
Write, for example, “The night is starry
and the stars are blue and shiver in the distance.”
The night wind revolves in the sky and sings.
Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.
Through nights like this one I held her in my arms.
I kissed her again and again under the endless sky.
She loved me, sometimes I loved her too.
How could one not have loved her great still eyes.
Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her.
To hear the immense night, still more immense without her.
And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture.
What does it matter that my love could not keep her.
The night is starry and she is not with me.
This is all. In the distance someone is singing. In the distance.
My soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.
My sight tries to find her as though to bring her closer.
My heart looks for her, and she is not with me.
The same night whitening the same trees.
We, of that time, are no longer the same.
I no longer love her, that’s certain, but how I loved her.
My voice tried to find the wind to touch her hearing.
Another’s. She will be another’s. As she was before my kisses.
Her voice, her bright body. Her infinite eyes.
I no longer love her, that’s certain, but maybe I love her.
Love is so short, forgetting is so long.
Because through nights like this one I held her in my arms
my soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.
Though this be the last pain that she makes me suffer
and these the last verses that I write for her.
Pablo Neruda


I crave your mouth, your voice, your hair.
Silent and starving, I prowl through the streets.
Bread does not nourish me, dawn disrupts me, all day
I hunt for the liquid measure of your steps.

I hunger for your sleek laugh,
your hands the color of a savage harvest,
hunger for the pale stones of your fingernails,
I want to eat your skin like a whole almond.

I want to eat the sunbeam flaring in your lovely body,
the sovereign nose of your arrogant face,
I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes,

and I pace around hungry, sniffing the twilight,
hunting for you, for your hot heart,
Like a puma in the barrens of Quitratue.


Tengo hambre de tu boca, de tu voz, de tu pelo
y por las calles voy sin nutrirme, callado,
no me sostiene el pan, el alba me desquicia,
busco el sonido líquido de tus pies en el día.

Estoy hambriento de tu risa resbalada,
de tus manos color de furioso granero,
tengo hambre de la pálida piedra de tus uñas,
quiero comer tu piel como una intacta almendra.

Quiero comer el rayo quemado en tu hermosura,
la nariz soberana del arrogante rostro,
quiero comer la sombra fugaz de tus pestañas

y hambriento vengo y voy olfateando el crepúsculo
buscándote, buscando tu corazón caliente
como un puma en la soledad de Quitratúe.


At times you sink, you fall
into your hole of silence,
into your abyss of proud anger,
and you can scarcely
return, still bearing remnants
of what you found
in the depths of your existence.

My love, what do you find
in you closed well?
Seaweed, swamps, rocks?
What do you see with blind eyes,
bitter and wounded?

Darling, you will not find
in the well into which you fall
what I keep for you on the heights:
a bouquet of dewy jasmines,
a kiss deeper that your abyss.

Do not fear me, do not fall
into your rancor again.
Shake off my word that
came to wound you
and let it fly through the open window.

It will return to wound
without you guiding it
since it was laden with a harsh instant
and that instant will be disarmed in my breast.

Smile at me radiant
if my mouth wounds you
I am not a gentle shepherd
like the ones in fairy tales,
but a good woodsman who shares with you
earth, wind, and mountain thorns.

Love me, you, smile at me,
help me to be good.
Do not wound yourself in me,for it will be useless,
do not wound me because you wound yourself.


A veces te hundes, caes
en tu agujero de silencio,
en tu abismo de cólera orgullosa,
y apenas puedes
volver, aún con jirones
de lo que hallaste
en la profundidad de tu existencia.

Amor mío, qué encuentras
en tu pozo cerrado?
Algas, ciénagas, rocas?
Qué ves con ojos ciegos,
rencorosa y herida?

Mi vida, no hallarás
en el pozo en que caes
lo que yo guardo para ti en la altura:
un ramo de jazmines con rocío
un beso más profundo que tu abismo.

No me temas, no caigas
en tu rencor de nuevo.
Sacude la palabra mía
que vino a herirte
y déjala que vuele por la ventana abierta.

Ella volverá a herirme
sin que tú la dirijas
puesto que fue cargada con un instante duro
y ese instante será desarmado en mi pecho.

Sonríeme radiosa
si mi boca te hiere.
No soy un pastor dulce
como en los cuentos de hadas,
sino un buen leñador que comparte contigo
tierra, viento y espinas de los montes.

Ámame, tú, sonríeme,
ayúdame a ser bueno.
No te hieras en mí, que será inútil,
no me hieras a mí porque te hieres.


Take breath away from me, if you wish,
take air away, but
do not take from me your laughter.

Do not take away the rose,
the lanceflower that you pluck,
the water that suddenly
bursts forth in your joy,
the sudden wave
of silver born in you.

My struggle is harsh and I come back
with eyes tired
at times from having seen
the unchanging earth,
but when your laughter enters
it rises to the sky seeking me
and it opens for me all
the doors of life.

My love, in the darkest
hour you laughter
opens, and if suddenly
you see my blood staining
the stones of the street,
laugh, because your laughter
will be for my hands
like a fresh sword.

Next tot the sea in the autumn,
your laughter must raise
its foamy cascade
and in the spring, love,
I want your laughter like
the flower I was waiting for,
the blue flower, the rose
of my echoing country.

Laugh at the night,
at the day, at the moon,
laugh at the twisted
streets of the island,
laugh at this clumsy
boy who loves you,
but when I open
my eyes and close them,
when my steps go,
when my steps return,
deny me bread, air
light, spring,
but never your laughter
for I would die.


Quítame el pan si quieres,
quítame el aire, pero
no me quites tu risa.

No me quites la rosa,
la lanza que desgranas,
el agua que de pronto
estalla en tu alegría,
la repentina ola
de planta que te nace.

Mi lucha es dura y vuelvo
con los ojos cansados
a veces de haber visto
la tierra que no cambia,
pero al entrar tu risa
sube al cielo buscándome
y abre para mí todas
las puertas de la vida.

Amor mío, en la hora
más oscura desgrana
tu risa, y si de pronto
ves que mi sangre mancha
las piedras de la calle,
ríe, porque tu risa
será para mis manos
como una espada fresca.

Junto al mar en otoño,
tu risa debe alzar
su cascada de espuma,
y en primavera, amor,
quiero tu risa como
la flor que yo esperaba,
la flor azul, la rosa
de mi patria sonora.

Ríete de la noche,
del día, de la luna,
ríete de las calles
torcidas de la isla,
ríete de este torpe
muchacho que te quiere,
pero cuando yo abro
los ojos y los cierro,
cuando mis pasos van,
cuando vuelven mis pasos,
niégame el pan, el aire,
la luz, la primavera,
pero tu risa nunca
porque me moriría.


Because of you, in gardens of blossoming flowers I ache from the
perfumes of spring.

I have forgotten your face, I no longer remember your hands;
how did your lips feel on mine?

Because of you, I love the white statues drowsing in the parks,
the white statues that have neither voice nor sight.

I have forgotten your voice, your happy voice; I have forgotten
your eyes.

Like a flower to its perfume, I am bound to my vague memory of
you. I live with pain that is like a wound; if you touch me, you will
do me irreparable harm.

Your caresses enfold me, like climbing vines on melancholy walls.
I have forgotten your love, yet I seem to glimpse you in every

Because of you, the heady perfumes of summer pain me; because
of you, I again seek out the signs that precipitate desires: shooting
stars, falling objects.


Por ti junto a los jardines recién florecidos me duelen
los perfumes de primavera.

He olvidado tu rostro, no recuerdo tus manos,
¿cómo besaban tus labios?

Por ti amo las blancas estatuas dormidas en los parques,
las blancas estatuas que no tienen voz ni mirada.

He olvidado tu voz, tu voz alegre.
He olvidado tus ojos.

Como una flor a su perfume, estoy atado a tu recuerdo impreciso.
Estoy cerca del dolor como una herida, si me tocas me dañarás irremediablemente.

Tus caricias me envuelven como las enredaderas a los muros sombríos.
He olvidado tu amor y sin embargo te adivino detrás de todas las ventanas.

Por ti me duelen los pesados perfumes del estío:
Por ti vuelvo a acechar los ginos que precipitan los deseos,
las estrellas en fuga, los objetos que caen.


I want you to know
one thing.

You know how this is:
if I look
at the crystal moon, at the red branch
of the slow autumn at my window,
if I touch
near the fire
the impalpable ash
or the wrinkled body of the log,
everything carries me to you,
as if everything that exists,
aromas, light, metals,
were little boats that sail
toward those isles of yours that wait for me.

Well, now,
if little by little you stop loving me
I shall stop loving you little by little.

If suddenly
you forget me
do not look for me,
for I shall already have forgotten you.

If you think it long and mad,
the wind of banners
that passes through my life,
and you decide
to leave me at the shore
of the heart where I have roots,
that on that day,
at that hour,
I shall lift my arms
and my roots will set off
to seek another land.

if each day,
each hour,
you feel that you are destined for me
with implacable sweetness,
if each day a flower
climbs up to your lips to seek me,
ah my love, ah my own,
in me all that fire is repeated,
in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten,
my love feeds on your love, beloved,
and as long as you live it will be in your arms
without leaving mine.


Quiero que sepas
una cosa.

Tú sabes cómo es esto:
si miro
la luna de cristal, la rama roja
del lento otoño en mi ventana,
si toco
junto al fuego
la impalpable ceniza
o el arrugado cuerpo de la leña,
todo me lleva a ti,
como si todo lo que existe,
aromas, luz, metales,
fueran pequeños barcos que navegan
hacia las islas tuyas que me aguardan.

Ahora bien,
si poco a poco dejas de quererme
dejaré de quererte poco a poco.

Si de pronto
me olvidas
no me busques,
que ya te habré olvidado.

Si consideras largo y loco
el viento de banderas
que pasa por mi vida
y te decides
a dejarme a la orilla
del corazón en que tengo raíces,
que en ese día,
a esa hora
levantaré los brazos
y saldrán mis raíces
a buscar otra tierra.

si cada día,
cada hora
sientes que a mí estás destinada
con dulzura implacable.
Si cada día sube
una flor a tus labios a buscarme,
ay amor mío, ay mía,
en mí todo ese fuego se repite,
en mí nada se apaga ni se olvida,
mi amor se nutre de tu amor, amada,
y mientras vivas estará en tus brazos
sin salir de los míos.


And it was at that age...Poetry arrived
in search of me. I don't know, I don't know where
it came from, from winter or a river.
I don't know how or when,
no, they were not voices, they were not
words, nor silence,
but from a street I was summoned,
from the branches of night,
abruptly from the others,
among violent fires
or returning alone,
there I was without a face
and it touched me.

I did not know what to say, my mouth
had no way
with names
my eyes were blind,
and something started in my soul,
fever or forgotten wings,
and I made my own way,
that fire
and I wrote the first faint line,
faint, without substance, pure
pure wisdom
of someone who knows nothing,
and suddenly I saw
the heavens
and open,
palpitating planations,
shadow perforated,
with arrows, fire and flowers,
the winding night, the universe.

And I, infinitesimal being,
drunk with the great starry
likeness, image of
I felt myself a pure part
of the abyss,
I wheeled with the stars,
my heart broke free on the open sky.


Y fue a esa edad . . . Llegó la poesía
a buscarme. No sé, no sé de dónde
salió, de inverno o río.
No sé cómo ni cuándo,
no, no eran voces, no eran
palabras, ni silencio,
pero desde una calle me llamaba,
desde las ramas de la noche
de pronto entre los otros,
entre fuegos violentos
o regresando solo,
allí estaba sin rostro
y me tocaba.

Yo no qué decir, mi boca
no sabía
mis ojos eran ciegos,
y algo golpeaba en mi alma,
fiebre o alas perdidas,
y me fui haciendo solo,
aquella quemadura,
y escribí la primera línea vaga,
vaga sin cuerpo, pura
pura sabiduría,
del que no sabe nada,
y vi de pronto
el cielo
y abierto,
plantaciones palpitantes,
la sombra perforada,
por flechas, fuego y flores,
la noche arrolladora, el universo.

Y yo, minimo ser,
ebrio del gran vacío
a semejanza, a imagen
del misterio,
me sentí parte pura
del abismo,
rodé con las estrellas,
mi corazón se desató en el viento.


So that you will hear me
my words
sometimes grow thin
as the tracks of the gulls on the beaches.

Necklace, drunken bell
for your hands as smooth as grapes.

And I watch my words from a long way off.
They are more yours than mine.
They climb on my old suffering ivy.

It climbs the same way on damp walls.
You are to blame for this cruel sport.

They are fleeing from my dark lair.
You fill everything, you fill everything.

Before you they are peopled in the solitude that you occupy,
and they are more used to my sadness than you are.

Now I want them to say what I want to say to you
and to make you hear as I wasn’t you to hear me.

The winds of anguish still hauls on them as usual.
Sometimes hurricanes of dreams still knock them over.

You listen to other voices in my painful voice
Lament of old mouths, blood of old supplications.
Love me, companion. Don’t forsake me. Follow me.
Follow me, companion, on this wave of anguish.

But my words become stained with your love.
You occupy everything, you occupy everything.

I am making them into an endless necklace
for your white hands, smooth as grapes.

Para que tú me oigas
mis palabras
se adelgazan a veces
como las huellas de las gaviotas en las playas.

Collar, cascabel ebrio
para tus manos suaves como las uvas.

Y las miro lejanas mis palabras.
Más que mías son tuyas.
Van trepando en mi viejo dolor como las yedras.

Ellas trepan así por las paredes húmedas.
Eres tú la culpable de este juego sangriento.

Ellas están huyendo de mi guarida oscura.
Todo lo llenas tú, todo lo llenas.

Antes que tú poblaron la soledad que ocupas,
y están acostumbradas más que tú a mi tristeza.

Ahora quiero que digan lo que quiero decirte
para que tú las oigas como quiero que me oigas.

El viento de la angustia aún las suele arrastrar.
Huracanes de sueños aún a veces las tumban.

Escuchas otras voces en mi voz dolorida.
Llanto de viejas bocas, sangre de viejas súplicas.
Ámame, compañera. No me abandones. Sígueme.
Sígueme, compañera, en esa ola de angustia.

Pero se van tiñendo con tu amor mis palabras.
Todo lo ocupas tú, todo lo ocupas.

Voy haciendo de todas un collar infinito
para tus blancas manos, suaves como las uvas.


Do you see these hands? They have measured
the earth, they have separated
minerals and cereals,
they have made peace and war,
they have demolished the distances
of all the seas and rivers,
and yet,
when they move over you,
little one,
grain of wheat, swallow,
they can not encompass you,
they are weary seeking
the twin doves
that rest or fly in your breast,
they travel the distances of your legs,
they coil in the light of your waist.
For me you are a treasure more laden
with immensity than the sea and its branches
and you are white and blue and spacious like
the earth at vintage time.
In that territory,
from your feet to your brow,
walking, walking, walking,
I shall spend my life.


Ves estas manos? Han medido
la tierra, han separado
los minerales y los cereales,
han hecho la paz y la guerra,
han derribado las distancias
de todos los mares y ríos,
y sin embargo
cuando te recorren
a ti, pequeña,
grano de trigo, alondra,
no alcanzan a abarcarte,
se cansan alcanzando
las palomas gemelas
que reposan o vuelan en tu pecho,
recorren las distancias de tus piernas,
se enrollan en la luz de tu cintura.
Para mí eres tesoro más cargado
de inmensidad que el mar y sus racimos
y eres blanca y azul y extensa como
la tierra en la vendimia.
En ese territorio,
de tus pies a tu frente,
andando, andando, andando,
me pasaré la vida.


Farewell, but you will be
with me, you will go within
a drop of blood circulating in my veins
or outside, a kiss that burns my Face
or a belt of fire at my waist.
My sweet, accept
the great love that came out of my life
and that in you found no territory
like the explorer lost
in the isles of bread and honey.
I found you after
the storm,
the rain washed the air
and in the water
your sweet feet gleamed like fishes.

Adored one, I am off to my fighting.

I shall scratch the earth to make you a cave
and there your Captain
will wait for you with flowers in the bed.
Think no more, my sweet,
about the anguish
that went on between us
like a bolt of phosphorous
leaving us perhaps its burning.
Peace arrived too because I return
to my land to fight,
and as I have a whole heart
with the share of blood that you gave me

and as
I have
my hands filled with your naked being,
look at me,
look at me,
look at me across the sea, for I go radiant,
look at me across the night through which I sail,
and sea and night are those eyes of yours.
I have not left you when I go away.
Now I am going to tell you:
my land will be yours,
I am going to conquer it,
not just to give it to you,
but for everyone,
for all my people.
The thief will come out of his tower some day.
And the invader will be expelled.
All the fruits of life
will grow in my hands
accustomed once to powder.
And I shall know how to touch the new flowers gently
because you taught me tenderness.
My sweet, adored one,
you will come with me to fight face to face
because your kisses live in my heart
like red banners,
and if I fall, not only
will earth cover me
but also this great love that you brought me
and that lived circulating in my blood.
You will come with me,
at that hour I wait for you,
at that hour and at every hour,
at every hour I wait for you.
And when the sadness that I hate comes
to knock at your door,
tell her that I am waiting for you
and when loneliness wants you to change
the ring in which my name is written,
tell loneliness to talk with me,
that I had to go away
because I am a soldier,
and that there where I am,
under rain or under
my love, I wait for you.
I wait for you in the harshest desert
and next to the flowering lemon tree,
in every place where there is life,
where spring is being born,
my love, I wait for you.
When they tell you: " That man
does not love you," remember
that my feet are alone in that night, and they seek
the sweet and tiny feet that I adore.
Love, when they tell you
that I have forgotten you, and even when
it is I who say it,
when I say it to you,
do not believe me,
who could and how could anyone
cut you from my heart
and who would receive
my blood
when I went bleeding toward you?
But still I can not
forget my people.
I am going to fight in each street,
behind each stone.
Your love also helps me:
it is a closed flower
that constantly fills me with its aroma
and that opens suddenly
within me like a great star.

My love, it is night.

The black water, the sleeping
world surround me.
Soon dawn will come,
and meanwhile I write you
to tell you: " I love you."
To tell you " I love you," care for,
clean, lift up,
our love, my darling.
I leave it with you as if I left
a handful of earth with seeds.
From our love lives will be born.
In our love they will drink water.
Perhaps a day will come
when a man and a woman, like
will touch this love and it will still have the strength
to burn the hands that touch it.
Who were we? What does it matter?
They will touch this fire and the fire,
my sweet, will say your simple name
and mine, the name
that only you knew, because you alone
upon earth know
who I am, and because nobody knew me like one,
like just one hand of yours,
because nobody
knew how or when
my heart was burning:
only your great dark eyes knew,
your wide mouth,
your skin, your breasts,
your belly, your insides,
and your soul that I awoke
so that it would go on
singing until the end of life.

Love, I am waiting for you.
Farewell, love, I am waiting for you.
Love, love, I am waiting for you.

And so this letter ends
with no sadness:
my feet are firm upon the earth,
my hand writes this letter on the road,
and in the midst of life I shall be
beside the friend, facing the enemy,
with your name on my mouth
and a kiss that never
broke away from yours.


Adios, pero conmigo
serás, irás adentro
de una gota de sangre que circule en mis venas
o fuera, beso que me abrasa el rostro
o cinturón de fuego en mi cintura.
Dulce mía, recibe
el gran amor que salió de mi vida
y que en ti no encontraba territorio
como el explorador perdido
en las islas del pan y de la miel.
Yo te encontré después
de la tormenta,
la lluvia lavó el aire
y en el agua
tus dulces pies brillaron como peces.

Adorada, me voy a mis combates.

Arañaré la tierra para hacerte una cueva
y allí tu Capitán
te esperará con flores en el lecho.
No pienses más, mi dulce,
en el tormento
que pasó entre nosotros
como un rayo de fósforo
dejándonos tal vez su quemadura.
La paz llegó también porque regreso.
a luchar a mi tierra,
y como tengo el corazón completo
con la parte de sangre que me diste
para siempre,
y como
las manos llenas de tu ser desnudo,
mírame por el mar, que voy radiante,
mírame por la noche que navego,
y mar y noche son los ojos tuyos.
No he salido de ti cuando me alejo.
Ahora voy a contarte:
mi tierra será tuya,
yo voy a conquistarla,
no sólo para dártela,
sino que para todos,
para todo mi pueblo.
Saldrá el ladrón de su torre algún día.
Y el invasor será expulsado.
Todos los frutos de la vida
crecerán en mis manos
acostumbrados antes a la pólvora.
Y sabré acariciar las nuevas flores
porque tú me enseñaste la ternura.
Dulce mía, adorada,
vendrás conmigo a luchar cuerpo a cuerpo
porque en mi corazón viven tus besos
como banderas rojas,
y si caigo, no sólo
me cubrirá la tierra
sino este gran amor que me trajiste
y que vivió circulando en mi sangre.
Vendrás conmigo,
en esa hora te espero,
en esa hora y en todas las horas,
en todas las horas te espero.
Y cuando venga la tristeza que odio
a golpear a tu puerta,
dile que yo te espero
y cuando la soledad quiera que cambies
la sortija en que está mi nombre escrito,
dile a la soledad que hable conmigo,
que yo debí marcharme
porque soy un soldado,
y que allí donde estoy,
bajo la lluvia o bajo
el fuego,
amor mío, te espero,
te espero en el desierto más duro
y junto al limonero florecido:
en todas partes donde esté la vida,
donde la primavera está naciendo,
amor mío, te espero.
Cuando te digan "Ese hombre
no te quiere", recuerda
que mis pies están solos en esa noche, y buscan
los dulces y pequeños pies que adoro.
Amor, cuando te digan
que te olvidé, y aun cuando
sea yo quien lo dice,
cuando yo te lo diga,
no me creas,
quién y cómo podrían
cortarte de mi pecho
y quién recibiría
mi sangre
cuando hacia ti me fuera desangrando?
Pero tampoco puedo
olvidar a mi pueblo.
Voy a luchar en cada calle,
detrás de cada piedra.
Tu amor también me ayuda:
es una flor cerrada
que cada vez me llena con su aroma
y que se abre de pronto
dentro de mí como una gran estrella.

Amor mío, es de noche.

El agua negra, el mundo
dormido, me rodean.
Vendrá luego la aurora
y yo mientras tanto te escribo
para decirte: "Te amo".
Para decirte "Te amo", cuida,
limpia, levanta,
nuestro amor, alma mía.
Yo te lo dejo como si dejara
un puñado de tierra con semillas.
De nuestro amor nacerán vidas.
En nuestro amor beberán agua.
Tal vez llegará un día
en que un hombre
y una mujer, iguales
a nosotros,
tocarán este amor, y aún tendrá fuerza
para quemar las manos que lo toquen.
Quiénes fuimos? Qué importa?
Tocarán este fuego
y el fuego, dulce mía, dirá tu simple nombre
y el mío, el nombre
que tú sola supiste porque tú sola
sobre la tierra sabes
quién soy, y porque nadie me conoció como una,
como una sola de tus manos,
porque nadie
supo cómo, ni cuándo
mi corazón estuvo ardiendo:
tan sólo
tus grandes ojos pardos lo supieron,
tu ancha boca,
tu piel, tus pechos,
tu vientre, tus entrañas
y el alma tuya que yo desperté
para que se quedara
cantando hasta el fin de la vida.

Amor, te espero.

Adiós, amor, te espero.

Amor, amor, te espero.

Y así esta carta se termina
sin ninguna tristeza:
están firmes mis pies sobre la tierra,
mi mano escribe esta carta en el camino,
y en medio de la vida estaré
junto al amigo, frente al enemigo,
con tu nombre en la boca
y un beso que jamás
se apartó de la tuya.


We have lost even this twilight.
No one saw us this evening hand in hand
while the blue night dropped on the world.

I have seen from my window
the fiesta of sunset in the distant mountain tops.

Sometimes a piece of sun
burned like a coin in my hand.

I remembered you with my soul clenched
in that sadness of mine that you know.

Where were you then?
Who else was there?
Saying what?
Why will the whole of love come on me suddenly
when I am sad and feel you are far away?

The book fell that always closed at twilight
and my blue sweater rolled like a hurt dog at my feet.

Always, always you recede through the evenings
toward the twilight erasing statues.


Hemos perdido aun este crepúsculo.
Nadie nos vio esta tarde con las manos unidas
mientras la noche azul caía sobre el mundo.

He visto desde mi ventana
la fiesta del poniente en los cerros lejanos.

A veces como una moneda
se encendía un pedazo de sol entre mis manos.

Yo te recordaba con el alma apretada
de esa tristeza que tú me conoces.

Entonces, dónde estabas?
Entre qué gentes?
Diciendo qué palabras?
Por qué se me vendrá todo el amor de golpe
cuando me siento triste, y te siento lejana?

Cayó el libro que siempre se toma en el crepúsculo,
y como un perro herido rodó a mis pies mi capa.

Siempre, siempre te alejas en las tardes
hacia donde el crepúsculo corre borrando estatuas.


I can write the saddest verses of all tonight.

Write, for instance: "The night is full of stars,
and the stars, blue, shiver in the distance."

The night wind whirls in the sky and sings.

I can write the saddest verses of all tonight.
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.

On nights like this, I held her in my arms.
I kissed her so many times under the infinite sky.

She loved me, sometimes I loved her.
How could I not have loved her large, still eyes?

I can write the saddest poem of all tonight.
To think I don't have her. To feel that I've lost her.

To hear the immense night, more immense without her.
And the poem falls to the soul as dew to grass.

What does it matter that my love couldn't keep her.
The night is full of stars and she is not with me.

That's all. Far away, someone sings. Far away.
My soul is lost without her.

As if to bring her near, my eyes search for her.
My heart searches for her and she is not with me.

The same night that whitens the same trees.
We, we who were, we are the same no longer.

I no longer love her, true, but how much I loved her.
My voice searched the wind to touch her ear.

Someone else's. She will be someone else's. As she once
belonged to my kisses.
Her voice, her light body. Her infinite eyes.

I no longer love her, true, but perhaps I love her.
Love is so short and oblivion so long.

Because on nights like this I held her in my arms,
my soul is lost without her.

Although this may be the last pain she causes me,
and these may be the last verses I write for her.


Puedo escribir los versos más tristes esta noche.

Escribir, por ejemplo: "La noche está estrellada,
y tiritan, azules, los astros, a lo lejos."

El viento de la noche gira en el cielo y canta.

Puedo escribir los versos más tristes esta noche.
Yo la quise, y a veces ella también me quiso.

En las noches como ésta la tuve entre mis brazos.
La besé tantas veces bajo el cielo infinito.

Ella me quiso, a veces yo también la quería.
Cómo no haber amado sus grandes ojos fijos.

Puedo escribir los versos más tristes esta noche.
Pensar que no la tengo. Sentir que la he perdido.

Oír la noche inmensa, más inmensa sin ella.
Y el verso cae al alma como al pasto el rocío.

Qué importa que mi amor no pudiera guardarla.
La noche está estrellada y ella no está conmigo.

Eso es todo. A lo lejos alguien canta. A lo lejos.
Mi alma no se contenta con haberla perdido.

Como para acercarla mi mirada la busca.
Mi corazón la busca, y ella no está conmigo.

La misma noche que hace blanquear los mismos árboles.
Nosotros, los de entonces, ya no somos los mismos.

Ya no la quiero, es cierto, pero cuánto la quise.
Mi voz buscaba el viento para tocar su oído.

De otro. Será de otro. Como antes de mis besos.
Su voz, su cuerpo claro. Sus ojos infinitos.

Ya no la quiero, es cierto, pero tal vez la quiero.
Es tan corto el amor, y es tan largo el olvido.

Porque en noches como ésta la tuve entre mis brazos,
Mi alma no se contenta con haberla perdido.

Aunque éste sea el último dolor que ella me causa,
y éstos sean los últimos versos que yo le escribo.


I do not love you except because I love you;
I go from loving to not loving you,
From waiting to not waiting for you
My heart moves from cold to fire.

I love you only because it's you the one I love;
I hate you deeply, and hating you Bend to you,
and the measure of my changing love for you
Is that I do not see you but love you blindly.

Maybe January light will consume
My heart with its cruel
Ray, stealing my key to true calm.

In this part of the story I am the one who Dies,
and I will die of love because I love you,
Because I love you, Love, in fire and blood.


No te quiero sino porque te quiero
y de quererte a no quererte llego
y de esperarte cuando no te espero
pasa mi corazón del frío al fuego.

Te quiero sólo porque a ti te quiero,
te odio sin fin, y odiándote te ruego,
y la medida de mi amor viajero
es no verte y amarte como un ciego.

Tal vez consumirá la luz de Enero,
su rayo cruel, mi corazón entero,
robándome la llave del sosiego.

En esta historia sólo yo me muero
y moriré de amor porque te quiero,
porque te quiero, amor, a sangre y fuego.


Before I loved you, Love, nothing was my own:
I wavered through the streets, among objects:
nothing mattered or had a name:
the world was made of air, which waited.

I knew rooms full of ashes,
tunnels where the moon lived,
rough warehouses that growled get lost,
questions that insisted in the sand.

Everything was empty, dead, mute,
fallen, abandoned, and decayed:
inconceivably alien, it all

belonged to someone else -- to no one:
till your beauty and your poverty
filled the autumn plentiful with gifts.


Antes de amarte, amor, nada era mío:
vacilé por las calles y las cosas:
nada contaba ni tenía nombre:
el mundo era del aire que esperaba.

Yo conocí salones cenicientos,
túneles habitados por la luna,
hangares crueles que se despedían,
preguntas que insistían en la arena.

Todo estaba vacío, muerto y mudo,
caído, abandonado y decaído,
todo era inalienablemente ajeno,

todo era de los otros y de nadie,
hasta que tu belleza y tu pobreza
llenaron el otoño de regalos.


I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way

that this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.


No te amo como si fueras rosa de sal, topacio
o flecha de claveles que propagan el fuego:
te amo como se aman ciertas cosas oscuras,
secretamente, entre la sombra y el alma.

Te amo como la planta que no florece y lleva
dentro de sí, escondida, la luz de aquellas flores,
y gracias a tu amor vive oscuro en mi cuerpo
el apretado aroma que ascendió de la tierra.

Te amo sin saber cómo, ni cuándo, ni de dónde,
te amo directamente sin problemas ni orgullo:
así te amo porque no sé amar de otra manera,

sino así de este modo en que no soy ni eres,
tan cerca que tu mano sobre mi pecho es mía,
tan cerca que se cierran tus ojos con mi sueño.


Don't go far off, not even for a day, because --
because -- I don't know how to say it: a day is long
and I will be waiting for you, as in an empty station
when the trains are parked off somewhere else, asleep.

Don't leave me, even for an hour, because
then the little drops of anguish will all run together,
the smoke that roams looking for a home will drift
into me, choking my lost heart.

Oh, may your silhouette never dissolve on the beach;
may your eyelids never flutter into the empty distance.
Don't leave me for a second, my dearest,

because in that moment you'll have gone so far
I'll wander mazily over all the earth, asking,
Will you come back? Will you leave me here, dying?


No estés lejos de mí un solo día, porque cómo,
porque, no sé decirlo, es largo el día,
y te estaré esperando como en las estaciones
cuando en alguna parte se durmieron los trenes.

No te vayas por una hora porque entonces
en esa hora se juntan las gotas del desvelo
y tal vez todo el humo que anda buscando casa
venga a matar aún mi corazón perdido.

Ay que no se quebrante tu silueta en la arena,
ay que no vuelen tus párpados en la ausencia:
no te vayas por un minuto, bienamada,

porque en ese minuto te habrás ido tan lejos
que yo cruzaré toda la tierra preguntando
si volverás o si me dejarás muriendo.


Lost in the forest, I broke off a dark twig
and lifted its whisper to my thirsty lips:
maybe it was the voice of the rain crying,
a cracked bell, or a torn heart.
Something from far off it seemed
deep and secret to me, hidden by the earth,
a shout muffled by huge autumns,
by the moist half-open darkness of the leaves.

Wakening from the dreaming forest there, the hazel-sprig
sang under my tongue, its drifting fragrance
climbed up through my conscious mind

as if suddenly the roots I had left behind
cried out to me, the land I had lost with my childhood---
and I stopped, wounded by the wandering scent.


En los bosques, perdido, corté una rama oscura
y a los labios, sediento, levanté su susurro:
era tal vez la voz de la lluvia llorando,
una campana rota o un corazón cortado.

Algo que desde tan lejos me parecía
oculto gravemente, cubierto por la tierra,
un grito ensordecido por inmensos otoños,
por la entreabierta y húmeda tiniebla de las hojas.

Pero allí, despertando de los sueños del bosque,
la rama de avellano cantó bajo mi boca
y su errabundo olor trepó por mi criterio

como si me buscaran de pronto las raíces
que abandoné, la tierra perdida con mi infancia,
y me detuve herido por el aroma errante.


Here I love you.
In the dark pines the wind disentangles itself.
The moon glows like phosphorous
on the vagrant waters.
Days, all one kind, go chasing each other.

The snow unfurls in dancing figures.
A silver gull slips down from the west.
Sometimes a sail. High, high stars.

Oh the black cross of a ship.
Sometimes I get up early and even my soul is wet.
Far away the sea sounds and resounds.
This is a port.
Here I love you.

Here I love you and the horizon hides you in vain.
I love you still among these cold things.
Sometimes my kisses go on those heavy vessels
that cross the sea towards no arrival.

I see myself forgotten like those old anchors.
The piers sadden when the afternoon moors there.
My life grows tired, hungry to no purpose.
I love what I do not have. You are so far.

My loathing wrestles with the slow twilights.
But night comes and starts to sing to me.
The moon turns its clockwork dream.

The biggest stars look at me with your eyes.
And as I love you, the pines in the wind
want to sing your name with their leaves of wire.


Aquí te amo.
En los oscuros pinos se desenreda el viento.
Fosforece la luna
sobre las aguas errantes.
Andan días iguales persiguiéndose.

Se desciñe la niebla en danzantes figuras.
Una gaviota de plata se descuelga del ocaso.
A veces una vela. Altas, altas estrellas.

O la cruz negra de un barco.
A veces amanezco, y hasta mi alma está húmeda.
Suena, resuena el mar lejano.
Este es un puerto.
Aquí te amo.

Aquí te amo y en vano te oculta el horizonte.
Te estoy amando aún entre estas frías cosas.
A veces van mis besos en esos barcos graves,
que corren por el mar hacia donde no llegan.

Ya me veo olvidado como estas viejas anclas.
Son más tristes los muelles cuando atraca la tarde.
Se fatiga mi vida inútilmente hambrienta.
Amo lo que no tengo. Estás tú tan distante.

Mi hastío forcejea con los lentos crepúsculos.
Pero la noche llega y comienza a cantarme.
la luna hace girar su rodaje de sueño.

Me miran con tus ojos las estrellas más grandes.
Y como yo te amo, los pinos en el viento,
quieren cantar tu nombre con sus hojas de alambre.

Ode To Conger Chowder
In the storm-tossed
lives the rosy conger,
giant eel
of snowy flesh.
And in Chilean
along the coast,
was born the chowder,
thick and succulent,
a boon to man.
You bring the conger, skinned,
to the kitchen
(its mottled skin slips off
like a glove,
leaving the
grape of the sea
exposed to the world),
the tender eel
to serve our appetites.
you take
first, caress
that precious
its irate fragrance,
blend the minced garlic
with onion
and tomato
until the onion
is the color of gold.
Meanwhile steam
our regal
ocean prawns,
and when
they are
when the savor is
set in a sauce
combining the liquors
of the ocean
and the clear water
released from the light of the onion,
you add the eel
that it may be immersed in glory,
that it may steep in the oils
of the pot,
shrink and be saturated.
Now all that remains is to
drop a dollop of cream
into the concoction,
a heavy rose,
then slowly
the treasure to the flame,
until in the chowder
are warmed
the essences of Chile,
and to the table
come, newly wed,
the savors
of land and sea,
that in this dish
you may know heaven.
Ode To Wine

Day-colored wine,
night-colored wine,
wine with purple feet
or wine with topaz blood,
starry child
of earth,
wine, smooth
as a golden sword,
as lascivious velvet,
wine, spiral-seashelled
and full of wonder,
never has one goblet contained you,
one song, one man,
you are choral, gregarious,
at the least, you must be shared.
At times
you feed on mortal
your wave carries us
from tomb to tomb,
stonecutter of icy sepulchers,
and we weep
transitory tears;
spring dress
is different,
blood rises through the shoots,
wind incites the day,
nothing is left
of your immutable soul.
stirs the spring, happiness
bursts through the earth like a plant,
walls crumble,
and rocky cliffs,
chasms close,
as song is born.
A jug of wine, and thou beside me
in the wilderness,
sang the ancient poet.
Let the wine pitcher
add to the kiss of love its own.

My darling, suddenly
the line of your hip
becomes the brimming curve
of the wine goblet,
your breast is the grape cluster,
your nipples are the grapes,
the gleam of spirits lights your hair,
and your navel is a chaste seal
stamped on the vessel of your belly,
your love an inexhaustible
cascade of wine,
light that illuminates my senses,
the earthly splendor of life.

But you are more than love,
the fiery kiss,
the heat of fire,
more than the wine of life;
you are
the community of man,
chorus of discipline,
abundance of flowers.
I like on the table,
when we're speaking,
the light of a bottle
of intelligent wine.
Drink it,
and remember in every
drop of gold,
in every topaz glass,
in every purple ladle,
that autumn labored
to fill the vessel with wine;
and in the ritual of his office,
let the simple man remember
to think of the soil and of his duty,
to propagate the canticle of the wine.
Ode To Tomatoes
The street
filled with tomatoes,
light is
its juice
through the streets.
In December,
the tomato
the kitchen,
it enters at lunchtime,
its ease
on countertops,
among glasses,
butter dishes,
blue saltcellars.
It sheds
its own light,
benign majesty.
Unfortunately, we must
murder it:
the knife
into living flesh,
a cool
populates the salads
of Chile,
happily, it is wed
to the clear onion,
and to celebrate the union
child of the olive,
onto its halved hemispheres,
its fragrance,
salt, its magnetism;
it is the wedding
of the day,
its flag,
bubble vigorously,
the aroma
of the roast
at the door,
it's time!
come on!
and, on
the table, at the midpoint
of summer,
the tomato,
star of earth, recurrent
and fertile
its convolutions,
its canals,
its remarkable amplitude
and abundance,
no pit,
no husk,
no leaves or thorns,
the tomato offers
its gift
of fiery color
and cool completeness.
Ode To Maize
America, from a grain
of maize you grew
to crown
with spacious lands
the ocean foam.
A grain of maize was your geography.
>From the grain
a green lance rose,
was covered with gold,
to grace the heights
of Peru with its yellow tassels.

But, poet, let
history rest in its shroud;
praise with your lyre
the grain in its granaries:
sing to the simple maize in the kitchen.

First, a fine beard
fluttered in the field
above the tender teeth
of the young ear.
Then the husks parted
and fruitfulness burst its veils
of pale papyrus
that grains of laughter
might fall upon the earth.
To the stone,
in your journey,
you returned.
Not to the terrible stone,
the bloody
triangle of Mexican death,
but to the grinding stone,
stone of your kitchens.
There, milk and matter,
strength-giving, nutritious
cornmeal pulp,
you were worked and patted
by the wondrous hands
of dark-skinned women.

Wherever you fall, maize,
whether into the
splendid pot of partridge, or among
country beans, you light up
the meal and lend it
your virginal flavor.

Oh, to bite into
the steaming ear beside the sea
of distant song and deepest waltz.
To boil you
as your aroma
spreads through
blue sierras.

But is there
no end
to your treasure?

In chalky, barren lands
by the sea, along
the rocky Chilean coast,
at times
only your radiance
reaches the empty
table of the miner.

Your light, your cornmeal, your hope
pervades America's solitudes,
and to hunger
your lances
are enemy legions.

Within your husks,
like gentle kernels,
our sober provincial
children's hearts were nurtured,
until life began
to shuck us from the ear.
Ode To a Large Tuna in the Market
Among the market greens,
a bullet
from the ocean
a swimming
I saw you,

All around you
were lettuces,
sea foam
of the earth,
of the ocean
of the unknown,
of the
shadow, the
of the sea,
the abyss,
only you had survived,
a pitch-black, varnished
to deepest night.

Only you, well-aimed
dark bullet
from the abyss,
mangled at one tip,
but constantly
at anchor in the current,
winged fins
in the swift
a mourning arrow,
dart of the sea,
olive, oily fish.

I saw you dead,
a deceased king
of my own ocean,
assault, silver
submarine fir,
of seaquakes,
only dead remains,
in all the market
was the only
purposeful form
the bewildering rout
of nature;
amid the fragile greens
you were
a solitary ship,
among the vegetables,
fin and prow black and oiled,
as if you were still
the vessel of the wind,
the one and only
unflawed, navigating
the waters of death.
Ode To a Chestnut on the Ground
From bristly foliage
you fell
complete, polished wood, gleaming mahogany,
as perfect
as a violin newly
born of the treetops,
that falling
offers its sealed-in gifts,
the hidden sweetness
that grew in secret
amid birds and leaves,
a model of form,
kin to wood and flour,
an oval instrument
that holds within it
intact delight, an edible rose.
In the heights you abandoned
the sea-urchin burr
that parted its spines
in the light of the chestnut tree;
through that slit
you glimpsed the world,
bursting with syllables,
the heads of boys
and girls,
grasses stirring restlessly,
smoke rising, rising.
You made your decision,
chestnut, and leaped to earth,
burnished and ready,
firm and smooth
as the small breasts
of the islands of America.
You fell,
you struck
the ground,
nothing happened,
the grass
still stirred, the old
chestnut sighed with the mouths
of a forest of trees,
a red leaf of autumn fell,
resolutely, the hours marched on
across the earth.
Because you are
a seed,
chestnut tree, autumn, earth,
water, heights, silence
prepared the germ,
the floury density,
the maternal eyelids
that buried will again
open toward the heights
the simple majesty of foliage,
the dark damp plan
of new roots,
the ancient but new dimensions
of another chestnut tree in the earth.
Ode To an Artichoke
The artichoke
of delicate heart
in its battle-dress, builds
its minimal cupola;
in its scallop of
Around it,
demoniac vegetables
bristle their thicknesses,
tendrils and belfries,
the bulb's agitations;
while under the subsoil
the carrot
sleeps sound in its
rusty mustaches.
Runner and filaments
bleach in the vineyards,
whereon rise the vines.
The sedulous cabbage
arranges its petticoats;
sweetens a world;
and the artichoke
dulcetly there in a gardenplot,
armed for a skirmish,
goes proud
in its pomegranate
Till, on a day,
each by the other,
the artichoke moves
to its dream
of a market place
in the big willow
a battle formation.
Most warlike
of defilades-
with men
in the market stalls,
white shirts
in the soup-greens,
artichoke field marshals,
close-order conclaves,
commands, detonations,
and voices,
a crashing of crate staves.

with her hamper
make trial
of an artichoke:
she reflects, she examines,
she candles them up to the light like an egg,
never flinching;
she bargains,
she tumbles her prize
in a market bag
among shoes and a
cabbage head,
a bottle
of vinegar; is back
in her kitchen.
The artichoke drowns in a pot.

So you have it:
a vegetable, armed,
a profession
(call it an artichoke)
whose end
is millennial.
We taste of that
dismembering scale after scale.
We eat of a halcyon paste:
it is green at the artichoke heart.
Ode To a Lemon
Out of lemon flowers
on the moonlight, love's
lashed and insatiable
sodden with fragrance,
the lemon tree's yellow
the lemons
move down
from the tree's planetarium

Delicate merchandise!
The harbors are big with it-
for the light and the
barbarous gold.
We open
the halves
of a miracle,
and a clotting of acids
into the starry
original juices,
irreducible, changeless,
so the freshness lives on
in a lemon,
in the sweet-smelling house of the rind,
the proportions, arcane and acerb.

Cutting the lemon
the knife
leaves a little cathedral:
alcoves unguessed by the eye
that open acidulous glass
to the light; topazes
riding the droplets,
aromatic facades.

So, while the hand
holds the cut of the lemon,
half a world
on a trencher,
the gold of the universe
to your touch:
a cup yellow
with miracles,
a breast and a nipple
perfuming the earth;
a flashing made fruitage,
the diminutive fire of a planet.
Ode To Salt
This salt
in the saltcellar
I once saw in the salt mines.
I know
you won't
believe me,
it sings,
salt sings, the skin
of the salt mines
with a mouth smothered
by the earth.
I shivered in those solitudes
when I heard
the voice of
the salt
in the desert.
Near Antofagasta
the nitrous
a broken
a mournful

In its caves
the salt moans, mountain
of buried light,
translucent cathedral,
crystal of the sea, oblivion
of the waves.

And then on every table
in the world,
we see your piquant
vital light
our food. Preserver
of the ancient
holds of ships,
the high seas,
of the unknown, shifting
byways of the foam.
Dust of the sea, in you
the tongue receives a kiss
from ocean night:
taste imparts to every seasoned
dish your ocean essence;
the smallest,
wave from the saltcellar
reveals to us
more than domestic whiteness;
in it, we taste infinitude.