World Poetry Day: A Poem by Pablo Neruda

21 Mar
Neruda Young
“Spain Poor by the Fault of the Rich”
Pablo Neruda
Cursed are those who one day look no more
Damned and cursed blind are
They who pay their sacred homeland not with
Bread but tears, damned
Filthy uniforms, or the cassocks
Of bitter, hideous dogs of cave and sepulchre.
Poverty was throughout Spain
Like horses full of smoke,
Like stones from a spring of misfortune.
Lands of grain were left unopened,
Secret wineries of blue and tin,
Ovaries, gates, closed arches, profound depths that
Yearned to give birth, but it was all guarded
By triangular soldiers with guns,
By sad rat-colored priests
By toadies of the fat-assed king.
Muscular Spain, apple and pine country,
Your lazy overlords ordered you
Not to sow, not to midwife the mines,
Nor breed cattle,
But to contemplate gravesites
Visit a monument of Christopher Columbus annually and
Neigh your speeches with those monkeys from America,
Equal to them in “social position” and moral rot.
Do not build schools,
Do not break the earth with your plows,
Do not load barns with wheat abundance. Instead,
Pray, beasts, pray
Pray that a god with a fat ass the size of the king’s fat ass
will be waiting for you
“There there, have some soup, my brethren.”
Translation by Barth Anderson

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