Works: 2023


The Warner

Every man worthy of the name
Has in his heart a yellow Snake
Installed as if upon a throne,
Who, if he says: "I will!" answers: "No!"

Plunge your eyes into the fixed gaze
Of Satyresses or Nixies,
The Fang says: "Think of your duty!"

Beget children, set out trees, 
Polish verses, sculpture marble, 
The Fang says: "Will you be alive tonight?

Whatever he may plan or hope, 
Man does not live for an instant 
Without enduring the warning 
Of the unbearable Viper.


The Blind

Contemplate them, my soul; they are truly frightful! 
Like mannequins; vaguely ridiculous; 
Strange and terrible, like somnambulists; 
Darting, one never knows where, their tenebrous orbs.

Their eyes, from which the divine spark has departed, 
Remain raised to the sky, as if they were looking 
Into space: one never sees them toward the pavement 
Dreamily bend their heavy heads.

Thus they go across the boundless darkness,
That brother of eternal silence. O city!
While about us you sing, laugh, and bellow,

In love with pleasure to the point of cruelty, 
See! I drag along also! but, more dazed than they, 
I say: "What do they seek in Heaven, all those blind?"

The Bad Monk

 Cloisters in former times portrayed on their high walls The truths of Holy Writ with fitting pictures Which gladdened pious hearts and lessened the coldness, The austere appearance, of those monasteries. In those days the sowing of Christ's Gospel flourished, And more than one famed monk, seldom quoted today, Taking his inspiration from the graveyard, Glorified Death with naive simplicity. — My soul is a tomb where, bad cenobite, I wander and dwell eternally; Nothing adorns the walls of that loathsome cloister.
O lazy monk! When shall I learn to make Of the living spectacle of my bleak misery The labor of my hands and the love of my eyes?
Punishment for Pride (Chatiment de l´orgueil)

In that marvelous time in which Theology Flourished
with the greatest energy and vigor,
It is said that one day a most learned doctor —
After winning by force the indifferent hearts,
Having stirred them in the dark depths of their being;
After crossing on the way to celestial glory,
Singular and strange roads, even to him unknown,
Which only pure Spirits, perhaps, had reached,
— Panic-stricken, like one who has clambered too high,
He cried, carried away by a satanic pride:
"Jesus, little jesus! I raised you very high!
But had I wished to attack you through the defect
In your armor, your shame would equal your glory,
And you would be no more than a despised fetus!"
At that very moment his reason departed.

A crape of mourning veiled the brilliance of that sun;
Complete chaos rolled in and filled that intellect,
A temple once alive, ordered and opulent,
Within whose walls so much pomp had glittered.
Silence and darkness took possession of it
Like a cellar to which the key is lost.
Henceforth he was like the beasts in the street,
And when he went along, seeing nothing, across
The fields, distinguishing nor summer nor winter,
Dirty, useless, ugly, like a discarded thing,
He was the laughing-stock, the joke, of the children.

Nature is a temple in which living pillars
Sometimes give voice to confused words;
Man passes there through forests of symbols
Which look at him with understanding eyes.

Like prolonged echoes mingling in the distance
In a deep and tenebrous unity,
Vast as the dark of night and as the light of day,
Perfumes, sounds, and colors correspond.

There are perfumes as cool as the flesh of children,
Sweet as oboes, green as meadows
— And others are corrupt, and rich, triumphant,

With power to expand into infinity,
Like amber and incense, musk, benzoin,
That sing the ecstasy of the soul and senses.