César Vallejo: “Black Stone On a White Stone”

Black Stone On a White Stone

I will die in Paris in a downpour of rain,
on a day that I already remember.
I will die in Paris (I don’t flinch before this fact.)
It will be Thursday, perhaps, in autumn, like today.

It will be Thursday, because today, a Thursday,
as I write these words, I’ve braced my shoulders
for misfortune.  More than ever, today,
I’ve turned to face my open road alone.

César Vallejo is dead.  They beat him,
all of them, though he did them no wrong.
They hit him hard with a stick

and also with a rope.  The witnesses are:
the many Thursdays, the bones of my shoulders,
the loneliness, the rain, the open road.

— César Vallejo

Translated from Spanish by Paul Weinfield, © 2013

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