The Lives of Poets

Jose Emilio Pacheco
Mexican
1939 – 2014

 

In poetry there’s no happy ending.
Poets end up
living their madness.
And they’re quartered like cattle
(it happened to Darío).
Or they’re stoned or wind up
flinging themselves to the sea or with cyanide
salts in their mouths.
Or dead from alcoholism, drug addiction, poverty.
Or worse: canonical poets,
bitter inhabitants of a tomb
entitled Complete Works.

Translation by Katherine M. Hedeen and Víctor Rodríguez Núñez

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