Latin American Poetry Packet Nestle lanterns like skylarks Vicente Huidobro Breathe skylarks like sighs Embroider sighs like silks Drain silks like rivers Excerpts from: Altazor: Canto III Hoist a river like a flag Pluck a flag like a rooster The poet is the manicurist of the language Quench a rooster like a fire And even more the magician who inflames and quenches Row through fires like seas Stellar words and the cherries of vagabond goodbyes Reap seas like wheat fields Far from the hands of the earth Chime wheat fields like bells And he invents all that he says Bleed bells like lambs Things that move outside the ordinary world Draw lambs like smiles Let us kill the poet who gluts us Bottle smiles like liquor Set liquor like jewels Poetry still and poetry poetry Electrify jewels like twilights Poetical poetry Man twilights like battleships Poetical poetry by poetical poets Unshoe a battleship like a king Poetry Raise kings like dawns Too much poetry Crucify dawns like prophets From the rainbow to the asshole pianist of the neighborhood Etc etc etc Enough poetry lady enough bambina It sill has bars over its eyes The game is a game and not and endless prayer Smiles or laughter and not the pupil’s lamps The ultimate poet agonizes That wheel from affliction toward the sea The bells of the continents chime Smile and gossip the weaver star The moon dies with the night on its back Smile of the brain that evokes dead stars The sun pulls the day out of its pocket On the mediumistic table of its radiations The solemn new land opens its eyes And moves form earth to the stars The burial of poetry All the languages are dead Enough lady harp of beautiful images Dead in the hands of the tragic neighbor Of secret illuminated “likes” We must revive the languages with raucous laughter Something else something else we are seeking With wagons of giggles We know how to dart a kiss like a glance With circuit-breakers in the sentences Plant glances like trees And cataclysm in the grammar Cage trees like birds Get up and walk Water birds like heliotropes Stretch your legs limber the stiff joints Play a heliotrope like music Fires of laughter for the shivering language Empty music like a sack Astral gymnastics for the numb tongues Decapitate a sack like a penguin Get up and walk Cultivate penguins like vineyards Live live like a football Milk a vineyard like a cow Explode in the mouth of motorcycles diamonds Unmast cows like schooners In the drunkenness of its fireflies Comb a schooner like a comet The very vertigo of its liberation Disembark comets like tourists A beautiful madness in the life of the word Bewitch tourists like snakes A beautiful madness in the zone of language Harvest snakes like almonds Adventure clothed in tangible disdains Undress an almond like an athlete The adventure of language between two wrecked ships Chop down athletes like cypresses Precious catastrophe on the rails of verse Light cypresses like lanterns Latin American Poetry Packet Announcement Vicente Huidobro The smile in the corner of the lips Ars Poetica Where the smiles die In the night when rocks weep Let poetry be like a key That opens a thousand doors. Such bitter tears A leaf falls; something flies overhead; Someone will know the future and its landscape of stars Let as much as the eyes see be created, The words that fill the pain of mourning horizons And the soul of the listener tremble. The astrologer enters dressed in poems Invent new worlds and watch your word; Like mist from the streams The adjective, when it does not create life, kills. He speaks and walks like night On the peak of his words a bird dies We are in the ages of nerves. Muscles hang, Nothing matters Like a memory, in museums, Love and enigma maintained But we are not the weaker for it: He is of another opinion True vigor Only believing in the phosphorous of the unconscious Lives in the head. In the sword of solitude That cuts our silence in half Do not sing the rose, O poets! That there may be dialogue between air and nothing Make it bloom in the poem. Oh night crucified on the wind For us alone Oh night All things live under the sun. Good night The poet is a little God. Alert Alone Midnight In the garden Alone between night and death alone Every shadow is a stream Traveling through the heart of eternity Eating fruit at the center of the void That noise coming closer is not a car Over the skies of Paris Night Death Otto von Zepplin The dead just planted in the infinite The earth leaves the earth returns Sirens sing In the black waves Alone with a star before me And this clarion that calls Alone with a great song inside and no star before me Is not the clarion of victory A hundred airplanes Night and death Flying around the moon Night and death The night’s death spinning through death PUT OUT YOUR PIPE So far away The shells burst like full-blown roses The world flies off in the wind And bombs puncture the days And a dog howls in the infinite searching for the lost land. Amputated songs tremble in the branches Wind contorts the streets HOW TO PUT OUT THE STAR IN THE POND Latin American Poetry Packet Pablo Neruda Sonnet 49 It’s today: all of yesterday dropped away Ars Poetica among the fingers of the light and the sleeping eyes. Tomorrow will come on its green footsteps: Between shadow and space, between trimmings and damsels, endowed with a singular heart and sorrowful dreams, no one can stop the river of the dawn. precipitously pallid, withered in the brow and with a furious widower’s mourning for each day of life, No one can stop the river of your hands, ah, for each invisible water that I drink somnolently your eyes and their sleepiness, my dearest. and from every sound that I welcome trembling, You are the trembling of time, which passes I have the same absent thirst and the same cold fever, between the vertical light and the darkening sky. A nascent ear, an indirect anguish, As if thieves or ghosts were coming, The sky folds its wings over you, And in a shell of fixed and profound expanse, lifting you, carrying you to my arms Like a humiliated waiter, like a slightly raucous bell, with it’s punctual, mysterious courtesy. Like an old mirror, like the smell of a solitary house Where the guests come in at night wildly drunk, And there is a smell of clothes thrown on the floor, and an absence That’s why I sing to the day and to the moon, of flowers— to the sea, to time, to all the planets, possibly in another even less melancholy way— to your daily voice, to your nocturnal skin. but the truth is that suddenly the wind that lashes my chest, the nights of infinite substance fallen in my bedroom, the noise of a day that burns with sacrifice, ask me mournfully what prophecy there is in my, and there is a swarm of objects that call without being answered, Sonnet 71 and a ceaseless movement, and a bewildered man. Love crosses its islands, from grief to grief, it sets its roots, watered with tears, and no one—no one—can escape the heart’s progress as it runs, silent and carnivorous. I Do Not Love You Except You and I searched for a wide valley, for another planet Because I Love You where salt wouldn’t touch your hair, where sorrows couldn’t grow because of anything I did, I do not love you except because I love you; where bread could live and not grow old. I go from loving to not loving you, From waiting to not waiting for you A planet entwined with vistas and foliage, My heart moves from cold to fire. a plain, a rock, hard and unoccupied: we wanted to build a strong nest I love you only because it's you the one I love; I hate you deeply, and hating you with our own hands, without hurt or harm or speech, Bend to you, and the measure of my changing love but love was not like that: love was a lunatic city for you with crowds of people blanching on their porches. 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, the only one, and I will die of love because I love you, Because I love you, Love, in fire and blood. Latin American Poetry Packet Pablo Neruda Canto XII from The Heights A Lemon of Macchu Picchu Out of lemon flowers Arise to birth with me, my brother. loosed Give me your hand out of the depths on the moonlight, love's sown by your sorrows. lashed and insatiable You will not return from these stone fastnesses. essences, You will not emerge from subterranean time. sodden with fragrance, Your rasping voice will not come back, the lemon tree's yellow nor your pierced eyes rise from their sockets. emerges, the lemons Look at me from the depths of the earth, move down tiller of fields, weaver, reticent shepherd, from the tree's planetarium groom of totemic guanacos, mason high on your treacherous scaffolding, Delicate merchandise! iceman of Andean tears, The harbors are big with it- jeweler with crushed fingers, bazaars farmer anxious among his seedlings, for the light and the potter wasted among his clays-- barbarous gold. bring to the cup of this new life We open your ancient buried sorrows. the halves Show me your blood and your furrow; of a miracle, say to me: here I was scourged and a clotting of acids because a gem was dull or because the earth brims failed to give up in time its tithe of corn or stone. into the starry Point out to me the rock on which you stumbled, divisions: the wood they used to crucify your body. creation's Strike the old flints original juices, to kindle ancient lamps, light up the whips irreducible, changeless, glued to your wounds throughout the centuries alive: and light the axes gleaming with your blood. so the freshness lives on in a lemon, I come to speak for your dead mouths. in the sweet-smelling house of the rind, the proportions, arcane and acerb. Throughout the earth let dead lips congregate, Cutting the lemon out of the depths spin this long night to me the knife as if I rode at anchor here with you. leaves a little cathedral: alcoves unguessed by the eye And tell me everything, tell chain by chain, that open acidulous glass and link by link, and step by step; to the light; topazes sharpen the knives you kept hidden away, riding the droplets, thrust them into my breast, into my hands, altars, like a torrent of sunbursts, aromatic facades. an Amazon of buried jaguars, and leave me cry: hours, days and years, So, while the hand blind ages, stellar centuries. holds the cut of the lemon, half a world And give me silence, give me water, hope. on a trencher, the gold of the universe Give me the struggle, the iron, the volcanoes. wells to your touch: Let bodies cling like magnets to my body. a cup yellow with miracles, Come quickly to my veins and to my mouth. a breast and a nipple perfuming the earth; Speak through my speech, and through my blood. a flashing made fruitage, the diminutive fire of a planet. Latin American Poetry Packet Gabriela Mistral Tiny Feet A child's tiny feet, I Am Not Alone Blue, blue with cold, How can they see and not protect you? The night, it is deserted Oh, my God! from the mountains to the sea. But I, the one who rocks you, I am not alone! Tiny wounded feet, Bruised all over by pebbles, The sky, it is deserted Abused by snow and soil! for the moon falls to the sea. But I, the one who holds you, Man, being blind, ignores I am not alone ! that where you step, you leave A blossom of bright light, The world, it is deserted. that where you have placed All flesh is sad you see. your bleeding little soles But I, the one who hugs you, a redolent tuberose grows. I am not alone! Since, however, you walk through the streets so straight, Creed you are courageous, without fault. I believe in my heart that when The wounded heart sunk within the depth of Child's tiny feet, God sings Two suffering little gems, It rises from the pond alive How can the people pass, unseeing. As if reborn. Translated by Mary Gallwey I believe in my heart that what I wring from myself To tinge life’s canvas With red of pallid hue, thus cloaking it Those Who Do Not Dance In luminous garb. A crippled child Said, “How shall I dance?” The Stranger (La Extranjera) Let your heart dance We said. She speaks in her way of her savage seas Then the invalid said: With unknown algae and unknown sands; “How shall I sing?” She prays to a formless, weightless God, Let your heart sing Aged, as if dying. We said In our garden now so strange, She has planted cactus and alien grass. Then spoke the poor dead thistle, The desert zephyr fills her with its breath But I, how shall I dance?” And she has loved with a fierce, white passion Let your heart fly to the wind She never speaks of, for if she were to tell We said. It would be like the face of unknown stars. Among us she may live for eighty years, Then God spoke from above Yet always as if newly come, “How shall I descend from the blue?” Speaking a tongue that plants and whines Come dance for us here in the light Only by tiny creatures understood. We said. And she will die here in our midst One night of utmost suffering, All the valley is dancing With only her fate as a pillow, Together under the sun, And the heart of him who joins us not And death, silent and strange. Is turned to dust, to dust. Latin American Poetry Packet No More Cliches Beautiful face Octavio Paz That like a daisy opens its petals to the sun So do you Between Going And Coming Open your face to me as I turn the page. Between going and staying the day wavers, Enchanting smile in love with its own transparency. Any man would be under your spell, The circular afternoon is now a bay Oh, beauty of a magazine. where the world in stillness rocks. All is visible and all elusive, How many poems have been written to you? all is near and can't be touched. How many Dantes have written to you, Beatrice? To your obsessive illusion To you manufacture fantasy. Paper, book, pencil, glass, rest in the shade of their names. But today I won't make one more Cliché Time throbbing in my temples repeats And write this poem to you. the same unchanging syllable of blood. No, no more clichés. This poem is dedicated to those women The light turns the indifferent wall Whose beauty is in their charm, into a ghostly theater of reflections. In their intelligence, I find myself in the middle of an eye, In their character, watching myself in its blank stare. Not on their fabricated looks. This poem is to you women, The moment scatters. Motionless, That like a Shahrazade wake up I stay and go: I am a pause. Everyday with a new story to tell, Translated by Eliot Weinberger A story that sings for change That hopes for battles: Battles for the love of the united flesh Battles for passions aroused by a new day Battle for the neglected rights Wind and Water and Stone Or just battles to survive one more night. Yes, to you women in a world of pain for Roger Caillois To you, bright star in this ever-spending universe To you, fighter of a thousand-and-one fights The water hollowed the stone, To you, friend of my heart. the wind dispersed the water, the stone stopped the wind, From now on, my head won't look down to a magazine Water and wind and stone. Rather, it will contemplate the night And its bright stars, The wind sculpted the stone, And so, no more clichés. the stone is a cup of water, the water runs off and is wind. Brotherhood Stone and wind and water. I am a man: little do I last The wind sings in its turnings, and the night is enormous. the water murmurs as it goes, But I look up: the motionless stone is quiet. the stars write. Wind and water and stone. Unknowing I understand: I too am written, One is the other, and is neither: and at this very moment among their empty names someone spells me out. they pass and disappear, water and stone and wind.