Posts Tagged ‘ César Vallejo ’

One Man’s César Vallejo | Open Letters Monthly – an Arts and Literature Review

I lose contact with the sea
when the waters come to me.

Let us always depart. Let us savor
the stupendous song, the song expressed
by the lower lips of desire.

– César Vallejo

“Vallejo is a difficult poet to quote briefly because he writes with a kind of stutter: his thoughts are constantly breaking off, catching up with themselves late, contradicting. He demands the whole space of a poem to pull off his best effects. Those unable to read the second line of a poem without fully coming to terms with the first will have little truck with Vallejo. But this casual, idiosyncratic, endlessly creative course of expression is his innovation and his legacy.

Although a number of poets are translating or have translated all of Vallejo’s poetry into English, Clayton Eshleman is the first to have published the entirety of his work in a single volume. It’s no book for the squeamish. Vallejo is a violent writer in every sense. Thwarted and inherited loves, inspiring patriotism, a resentful standoff with God, the dream of perfect socialism, and a loving, brutal fuck with language lace his poems like loaded coils.” – John Cotter, from César Vallejo: The Complete Poetry, Edited and Translated by Clayton Eshleman

Source: One Man’s César Vallejo | Open Letters Monthly – an Arts and Literature Review

This posting is inspired by the following discovered at “Questa notte scendo da cavallo.. – César Vallejo at Vengodalmare

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A Longhouse Birdhouse: VALLEJO / MALANGA ~

Some Days A Fruitful, Cautious Longing
Comes Over Me

Some days a fruitful, cautious longing comes over me,
to love and kiss affection on both cheeks,
and from afar there comes to me,
demonstrative, a wish, a different wish of loving, strong,
the one who hates me, the one who tears up his role, the little boy,
the one who weeps for one who has been weeping,
king of wine, slave of water
the one who hides in his own wrath
the one who sweats, the one who passes by, the one who
shakes himself within my soul.
The pleasure to arrange a braid of hair
of one who walks to me, the soldier’s hair;
one’s light, the great; one’s greatness to the boy.
I want to iron a handkerchief at one
for the one who cannot weep
and, when I’m sad or when good fortune pains me,
to patch up geniuses and children.

I want to help the good man be a little bad
and have an urge to sit
on the right of the left-handed, answer the dumb,
trying to be useful in what
I can, wanting very much
to wash the cripple’s foot,
and help my one-eyed neighbor sleep.

Oh, this love of mine, this world-wide love,
interhuman, parochial, fulfilled!
It comes just right,
from the foundations, from the public groin,
and coming from afar it makes one want to kiss
the singer’s scarf,
to kiss the one who suffers, in this roasting-pan,
the dumb, in his deaf cranial murmur, dauntless;
the one who gives me what I had forgotten in my breast,
on his Dante, on his Chaplin, on his shoulders.

To sum up, I should like,
when I am on the famous verge of violence,
or when my heart is brave, I should like
to help the one who smiles to laugh,
place a little bird square on the scruff of a villain’s neck,
nurse the sick by provoking them,
buy to kill from the killer — a dreadful thing —
and be at peace within myself
in everything.

6 November 1937 
César Vallejo

translated from the Spanish by Gerard Malanga

A Longhouse Birdhouse: VALLEJO / MALANGA ~.