Cesar Vallejo – “Stumble between two stars” – soundgasm.net

https://soundgasm.net/u/CassieOmKali/Stumble-between-two-stars-Cesar-Vallejo

There are people so wretched, that they don’t have
even a body; quantitative hair,
below, in inches, the genial grief;
the way, on high;
don’t look for me, molar of oblivion,
they seem to emerge from air, to add sighs mentally, to hear
light whips on their palates!

They leave the skin, scratching the sarcophagus in which they are born
and rise through death hour by hour
and fall, along their gelid alphabet, to the ground.

Aie of so much! aie of so little! aie for them!
Aie in my room, hearing them with lenses!
Aie in my throrax, when they buy suits!
Aie of my white dirt, in its combined dregs!

Beloved be the sanchez ears,
beloved those who sit down,
beloved the stranger and his wife,
the neighbor with sleeves, neck and eyes!

Beloved be the one who has bedbugs,
the one who wears a torn shoe in rain,
the one who keeps vigil over the corpse of bread with two matches,
the one who catches a finger in a door,
the one who doesn’t have birthdays,
the one who lost his shadow in a fire,
the animal, the one who seems a parrot,
the one who seems a man, the poor rich,
the pure miserable the poor poor!

Beloved be
the one who is hungry or thirsty, but has no
hunger with which to satisfy his thirst,
no thirst with which to satisfy all his hungers!

Beloved be the one who works daily, nightly, hourly,
the one who sweats from pain or shame,
that one who goes, ordered by his hands, to the movies,
the one who pays with what he lacks,
the one who sleeps on his back,
the one who no longer recalls his childhood; beloved be
the bald one without a hat,
the just one without thorns,
the thief without roses,
the one who wears a watch and has seen God,
the one who has one honor and doesn’t fail!

Beloved be the child, who falls and still cries,
and the man who has fallen and no longer cries!

Aie so much! Aie of so little! Aie for them!

 

Another translation:

There are people so wretched, they don’t even
have a body, their hair quantitative,
their wise grief, low, in inches;
their manner, high;
don’t look for me, the oblivion molar,
they seem to come out of the air, to add up sighs mentally, to hear
bright smacks on their palates!

They leave their skin, scratching the sarcophagus in which they are born
and climb through their death hour after hour
and fall, the length of their frozen alphabet, to the ground.

Pity for so much! pity for so little! pity for them!
Pity in my room, hearing them with glasses on!
Pity in my thorax, when they are buying suits!
Pity for my white filth, in their combined scum!

Beloved be the sanchez ears,
beloved the people who sit down,
beloved the unknown man and his wife,
my fellow man, with sleeves, neck and eyes!

Beloved be the one with bedbugs,
the one who wears a torn shoe in the rain,
the one who wakes the corpse of a bread with two tapers,

the one who catches a finger in the door,
the one who has no birthday
s,
the one who lost his shadow in a fire,
the animal, the one who looks like a parrot,
the one who looks like a man, the rich poor man,
the extremely miserable man, the poorest poor man!

Beloved be
the one who is hungry or thirsty, but has no
hunger with which to satiate all his hungers!

Beloved be the one who works by the day, by the month, by the hour,
the one who sweats out of pain or out of shame,

the person who goes, at the order of his hands, to the movies.
the one who pays with what he does not have,
the one who sleeps on his back,
the one who no longer remembers his childhood, beloved be
the bald man without hat,
the thief without roses,
the one who wears a watch and has seen God,
the one who has honour and does not die!

Beloved be the child who falls and still cries
and the man who has fallen and no longer cries!

Pity for so much! pity for so little! pity for them!

Vallejo reworks Christ’s radical declaration that the lowliest in society are the most blessed, with a humanist and equally radical declaration of common humanity: that the blessed are those whom society deems the least noteworthy. Reading the poem after seeing the film, it is clear that the humanist ethos of the poem informs Andersson’s film and, indeed, its absurdist point of view.  As for Andersson, he once asserted that Vallejo was one of the world’s ‘absolutely foremost poets’, and described ‘Stumble Between Two Stars’ as one of the strongest and most beautiful things he had read.

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