The Wandering Song

A singer goes all over the world
impassioned or bored

In a little train or a white train
by the gulls or through the grain

A singer walks into wars and peaces
into civil wars, trench wars, trade wars
through discord or concord
a singer goes to all these places

A poet moves in the world

On the ridge spine of the elephant
into the narrows of the Hellespont

On a palanquin, in gemmy silks
she crosses glaciers in the Alps

On a cloud backed and glinting jet
into Buddhist and bright Tibet

In a car into St. Lucia
On a dark train through Galicia

Over the pampas and the flats
on American colts

She goes by river in a canoe
or props herself in the banging prow

of a pelagic freighter
or she simply rides an escalator

She brings her nose to archipelagoes
And carts her ears into Tangiers

On a dromedary across the sands
by jiggling boats, she visits lands

She goes to the tundra's edge
on an expeditious sledge

And far from the equator's flora
she thrills to the boreal aurora

The singer strolls through hissing crops
across the rows and by the cows

She enters her London on a bus
her Jerusalem on an ass

She goes with mailbags and pouches of the State
to open doors to eternal things

To salve the sores of human beings
is why she sings.

Translation of "El canto errante." Translation copyright 2008 by Gabriel Gudding. All rights reserved.

Read the author's poem "Philosophy" here.