Pedro Salinas y Serrano: “Wake Up. Day Calls You”

Wake Up.  Day Calls You

Wake up.  Day calls you
to your life: your duty.
Tear your body from the
black night and the shadows
that covered it, this body
for which light waited
on tiptoe at dawn.
Stand up, affirm the straight,
simple will to be
perfect, unbent purity.
Touch the temple of your body.
Is it hot?  Cold?  Your blood
will tell all against the snow
behind the window.
The color in your cheeks
will tell it too.
And look at the world.  And rest
doing nothing more than adding
your perfection to yet another day.
Your task
is to raise life high,
to play with it, to throw it
like a voice into the clouds
so that it may receive the lights
that have already left us.
That is your fate: to live.
Do nothing else.
Your work is you, nothing more.

— Pedro Salinas y Serrano

Translated from Spanish by Paul Weinfield, © 2013

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