Friday, July 13, 2012

Pablo Neruda, "Educación del Cacique," Trans. Anthony Kerrigan

Lautaro was a slender arrow.
Supple and blue was our father. 
His first years were all silence.
His adolescence authority. 
His youth an aimed wind.
He trained himself like a long lance.
He habituated his feet in cascades.
He schooled his head among thorns.
He executed the essays of the guanaco.
He lived in the burrows of the snow.
He ambushed the prey of eagles.
He scratched the secrets from crags.
He allayed the petals of fire.
He suckled cold springtime.
He burned in infernal gorges.
He was a hunter among cruel birds.
His mantle was stained with victories.
He perused the night's aggressions.
He bore the sulphur landslides.

He made himself velocity, sudden light.

He took on the sluggishness of Autumn.
He worked in the invisible haunts.
He slept under the sheets of snowdrifts.
He equaled the conduct of arrows.
He drank wild blood on the roads.
He wrested treasure from the waves.
He made himself menace, like a sombre god.
He ate from each fire of his people.
He learned the alphabet of the lightning.
He scented the scattered ash.
He wrapped his heart in black skins.
He deciphered the spiral thread of smoke.
He made himself out of taciturn fibres.
He oiled himself like the soul of the olive.
He became glass of transparent hardness.
He studied to be a hurricane wind.
He fought himself until his blood was extinguished.

Only then was he worthy of his people.

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