Skip to content
from the March 2014 issue: Writing from Venezuela

Darkness

La oscuridad

Every man would have
as Rilke wished
a personal death:

            so

well deserved, like
love, private,
inner,
contained, a seed, the same
as childhood’s
secret desires.

Every man deserves
to have the idea
of another life
where he might finally
rest.

But there are condemned men

and this sentence
has stripped the satrap
of his chance
to force obedience
to a final command. He gained
not the pardon he would have claimed
in his arrogance
but entry, knowingly,
into darkness.

"La Oscuridad," Originally published in País. Fundación Bigott, Caracas 2007. ©Yolanda Pantin. Translation © 2014 by Katherine Silver. All rights reserved.

La oscuridad

Todo hombre tendría,
como quiso Rilke,
una muerte propia:

tan

merecida, como
el amor, privada,
dentro de sí,
contenida, una semilla, igual
a los secretos deseos
de la infancia.

Todo hombre merece
tener la idea
de otra vida
donde pueda finalmente
descansar.

Pero hay condenados

y esta sentencia
le ha quitado al sátrapa
ocasión
de hacer cumplir
una última orden. Obtuvo

no el perdón que hubiese pretendido
en su arrogancia,
sino entrar, sabiéndolo,
a la oscuridad.

Like what you read? Help WWB bring you the best new writing from around the world.