Wednesday, November 03, 2004

The dark poet of Latin-American letters is Cesar Vallejo. While Neruda wrote about the intoxicating heights of love, Vallejo wrote clearly and passionately about the lowest levels of despair, about suffering and about the irrevocable blows of blind fate. All of these emotions are condensed into The Black Riders or even the more contemplative "Idle on a stone":

Idle on a stone,
scroungy, horrifying,
at the bank of the Seine, it comes and goes.
Conscience then sprouts from the river,
with petiole and outlines of the greedy tree;
from the river the city rises and falls, made of embraced wolves.

The idle one sees it coming and going,
monumental, carrying his fasts in his concave head,
on his chest his purest lice
and below
his little sound, that of his pelvis,
silent between two big decisions,
and below,
further down,
a paperscrap, a nail, a match. . .

No comments: