Black Stone on a White Stone

By César Vallejo 1892–1938 Cesar Vallejo

Translated By Rebecca Seiferle Read the translator's notes

I will die in Paris with a rainstorm,
on a day I already remember,
I will die in Paris—and I don't shy away—
perhaps on a Thursday, as today is, in autumn.

       It will be Thursday, because today, Thursday, as I prose
these lines, I've put on my humeri in a bad mood,   
and, today like never before, I've turned back,
with all of my road, to see myself alone.

       César Vallejo has died; they kept hitting him,   
everyone, even though he does nothing to them,
they gave it to him hard with a club and hard

       also with a rope; witnesses are
the Thursday days and the humerus bones,   
the solitude, the rain, the roads. . .

Source: Poetry (April 2008).


This poem originally appeared in the April 2008 issue of Poetry magazine

April 2008
 César  Vallejo


Peruvian expatriate César Vallejo was a major poet, known for the authenticity and originality of his work. Deeply rooted in his mixed European and Peruvian Indian heritage, his poetry expressed universal themes related to the human condition. Sometimes called a surrealist poet, “Vallejo created a wrenching poetic language for Spanish that radically altered the shape of its imagery and the nature of its rhythms. No facile trend . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poems by César Vallejo

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Death, Social Commentaries

POET’S REGION Latin America

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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