Paul Archer - photo Paul Archer - poet, translator




(English translation of 'Curriculum' by Mario Benedetti)

It’s a very simple story
you are born
you look with sadness
at the red blue of the sky
the migrating bird
the ungainly beetle
your brave shoe will

you suffer
you demand food
and usually
because you must
you weep clean your faults
and are exhausted
before sleep knocks you out

you love
you are transformed and love
for a forever so provisional
that even your pride becomes soft
and your prophetic heart
turns to debris

you learn
and use what you’ve learnt
to slowly become wise
to know that in the end the world is like this
in its better moments there’s nostalgia
in its worse moments helplessness
and always always
it’s a mess

then you die.

For more translations of poems by Mario Benedetti, go to Translations.

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