Black stone upon a white stone
I’ll die in Paris when it’s pouring with rain
On a day whose memory I cherish.
I’ll die in Paris (it makes no odds to me),
On maybe a Thursday like today, in autumn.
Yes, a Thursday because today, Thursday
O what dull verse. . . my upper arms won’t respond,
And never like today have I about-faced
To see myself all alone, the years I’ve known.
César Vallejo has died, beaten by
One and all, though he did them no harm.
They beat him hard with a stick
Hard too with a rope: his upper arms;
The Thursdays; the rain and loneliness;
The journeys, all bear witness. . .
César Vallejo (1892-1938)
Translation by John Lyons