Liz’s Weekend Poetry Series: A Poem For Newt

by lizard

I went looking through my Pablo Neruda to find a poem for Newt Gingrich. I found one that seems appropriate in Neruda’s collection, titled Fin de Mundo, published by Copper Canyon Press (2009). I’m going to feature the poem in its native ghetto language first. For those of you who can’t read Spanish, William O’Daly’s translation of this poem into the language of prosperity is below the fold. Enjoy!

TAL VEZ

Es cuerdo el hombre que voltea
y parpadeando en el alambre
cambia de piel y paladar
buscando el sol o el equilibrio.
(La astucia cambia de color
y el conservador no conserva
sino las máscaras que usó
ya convertidas en ceniza.)

*

PERHAPS

The man is wise who swings
and blinking on the wire
changes skin and palate,
seeking the sun and balance.
(Cleverness changes color
and the conservative conserves nothing
but the masks he wore,
already turned to ash.)

—Pablo Neruda

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