|Peruvian poet, César Vallejo|
This gift has come at a perfect moment, too. As the whirlwind of the end of the semester pulls me into a torrent of writing, reading, and grading, I find myself procrastinating in the most wonderfully productive way-- reading poetry. When my friend gave me the book of César Vallejo's poetry, I had an immediate impulse to recite my favorite of his poems but realized, to my dismay, that I could not even remember the poem's title. The other day, I picked up the book and decided it was high time that I find, re-read, and memorize my favorite Vallejo poem. (Besides, its national poetry month!)
|César Vallejo in Nice, France in 1929|
I hope you enjoy this beautifully anguished poem as much as I do.
"Distant Footsteps" from The Black Heralds (1919)
My father is asleep. His august face
expresses a peaceful heart;
he is now so sweet...
if there is anything bitter in him, it must be me.
There is loneliness in the house; there is prayer;
and no news of the children today.
My father stirs, sounding
the flight into Egypt, the styptic farewell.
He is now so near;
if there is anything distant in him, it must be me.
My mother walks in the orchard,
savoring a savor now without savor.
She is so soft,
so wing, so gone, so love.
There is loneliness in the house with no bustle,
no news, no green, no childhood.
And if there is something broken this afternoon,
something that descends and that creaks,
it is two old white, curved roads.
Down them my heart makes its way on foot.
|You can purchase the book here.|
Until next time, fair rufflers of petticoats!
UPDATE: I found a reading of this poem in Spanish, if you're interested in listening to it!