We present this work in honor of Chilean Independence Day.
The aridity of the gardens
finally tired them all.
Nothing, not even carrots
would grow in that rocky soil.
Breaking your back for
a fistful of herbs.
And the flowers? You’ll say.
And those huge dahlias, like trees?
Don’t remind me of those carnivores.
They seemed to shine their petals
to the smell of misfortune.
moved their stamens
as we steadily fell.
We present this work in honor of the 110th anniversary of the poet’s death.
The bloody fight has ceased;
and yesterday’s invader is now our brother;
three centuries we washed the affront
fighting in the field of honor.
That who yesterday was a slave
is free and triumphant today;
freedom is the heritage of the brave,
Victory lies shameful to his feet.
Rise, Chile, with a spotless forehead;
you conquered your name on the fight;
always noble, constant and courageous
the children of the Cid found you.
May your free calmly crown
the arts, industry and peace,
and may they sing songs of your triumph
to intimidate the daring despot.
Your names, brave soldiers
who have been Chile’s mainstay,
they are engraved in our chests;
our children will know them as well.
May they be the death cry
that comes out when we march to the fight,
and ringing in the mouth of the strong
they always make the tyrant tremble.
If the foreign cannon intends
to invade, daring, our people;
let’s draw our arms
and know victory or death.
With its blood the proud Araucanian
inherited its courage to us;
and the sword doesn’t tremble in the hand
of that who defends the honor of Chile.
How pure, Chile, is your blue sky
And how pure the breezes that blow across you
And your countryside embroidered with flowers
Is a wonderful copy of Eden
How majestic are the snow-covered mountains
That were given to you by God as protection
And the sea that tranquilly bathes your shores
Promises future splendor for you
That pride, oh, Homeland!, those flowers
growing on your fertile soil,
may they never be stepped on by invaders;
may your shadow cover them with peace.
Our chests will be your bastion
in your name we will know how to win,
or your noble, glorious emblem
will see us fall in the fight.
Beloved Homeland, receive the vows
That Chile gave you on your altars
That you be either the tomb of the free
Or a refuge from oppression
Thanks to life, which has given me so much
It gave me two bright stars that when I open them,
I perfectly distinguish the black from white
And in the sky above, her starry backdrop
And within the multitudes the man I love
I’m absent from laughter
and everything happy men possess.
While blood flees like a deer
through every landscape
for no apparent reason,
as if believing that the most remote images
silence our thought.
Still upright, despite
those dark-rooted suns,
I approach your winged figure,
your little vertigos,
and teach you to watch
like only fish can,
in orbits unfamiliar to your hands.
I emerge -little god-
from the most secluded womb
to join you with a perfectly measured distance.
We share a certain gaze,
and an open door
to encumber our conversations;
leaning on the frame, gathered there
like the abandoned gather themselves,
nursing an ancient music
even greater than life and death.
And you revolt, known angel, anticipating the fall.
Truth prefers this behavior.
That’s how you come and go
and wrap yourself in the luminescence of old stars
so that I can watch your skeleton,
knowing full well that there’s nothing more beautiful
than the becoming of sea into bones.
In the end one gets used to
no one saying goodbye,
and to perceiving sound
in the palm of a hand,
like sea horses
as they caress each other’s fishbone spines.
Beautified in a drop of water
seen through thirst,
you come to know my first workdays.
The steep channels that led God
to unite snow, tree heart,
bile, dark resin,
indecision, pendulum, eternity,
and night through eyes.