Translation:Our Bread

Our Bread  (1918) 
by César Vallejo, translated from Spanish by Wikisource
From the collection The Black Heralds (Los heraldos negros)


One drinks breakfast... Humid cemetery
earth smells like beloved blood.
City of winter... The scathing crossing
of a cart that dragging seems
an emotion of chained-up fasting.

One would want to knock on all the doors,
and ask for I don’t know whom; and later
to watch the poor people, and, crying gently,
to hand out little pieces of fresh bread to all of them.
And to loot from the wealthy their vineyards
with the two holy hands
that took flight unnailed from the Cross
with a stroke of light.

Morning eyelash, don’t arise!
Give us our daily bread,

All my bones are alien to me;
perhaps I stole them!
I came to give myself that which perhaps was
meant for someone else;
and I think that, if I hadn’t been born,
some other sucker would be drinking this coffee!
I’m a bad thief... Where will I go!

And at this cold hour, when earth
transcends to human dust and is so sad,
I would like to knock on all the doors,
and to beg I don’t know whom, forgiveness,
and to make little pieces of fresh bread
here, in the oven of my heart...!

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This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1927.

The author died in 1938, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 80 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.


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