Thursday, October 22, 2009

I love Vallejo

Have You Anything to Say In Your Defense?

by César Vallejo

Well, on the day I was born,
God was sick.
They all know that I'm alive,
that I'm vicious; and they don't know
the December that follows from that January.
Well, on the day I was born,
God was sick.

There is an empty place
in my metaphysical shape
that no one can reach:
a cloister of silence
that spoke with the fire of its voice muffled.

On the day I was born,
God was sick.

Brother, listen to me, Listen . . .
Oh, all right. Don't worry, I won't leave
without taking my Decembers along,
without leaving my Januaries behind.
Well, on the day I was born,
God was sick.

They all know that I'm alive,
that I chew my food . . . and they don't know
why harsh winds whistle in my poems,
the narrow uneasiness of a coffin,
winds untangled from the Sphinx
who holds the desert for routine questioning.

Yes, they all know . . . Well, they don't know
that the light gets skinny
and the darkness gets bloated . . .
and they don't know that the Mystery joins things together . . .
that he is the hunchback
musical and sad who stands a little way off and foretells
the dazzling progression from the limits to the Limits.

On the day I was born,
God was sick,
gravely.

4 comments:

Rick Bursky said...

Wow, beautiful poem.

Lyle Daggett said...

Me too, I like Vallejo. And liked this poem.

Curious who did the translation?

Nin Andrews said...

Eshelman translated.
Vallejo is amazing. Even his name . . .

Jesus Crisis said...

I love Vallejo! The Penguin Classics paperback "Spain, Take This Chalice from Me" and Other Poems is one of my very favorite books. Before now, however, I've never read any of Eshelman's translations. Going to Amazon to place an order now....