Editorial note: If you have not yet read our mission statement above, please do so in order that you can put our blogs in context.
28 October 2012
Dichoso el árbol, que es apenas sensitivo,
y más la piedra dura porque esa ya no siente,
pues no hay dolor más grande que el dolor de ser vivo,
ni mayor pesadumbre que la vida consciente.
Ser y no saber nada, y ser sin rumbo cierto,
y el temor de haber sido y un futuro terror…
Y el espanto seguro de estar mañana muerto,
y sufrir por la vida y por la sombra y por
lo que no conocemos y apenas sospechamos,
y la carne que tienta con sus frescos racimos,
y la tumba que aguarda con sus fúnebres ramos,
y no saber adónde vamos,
ni de dónde venimos!…
Happy the tree that can scarcely feel, and happier the hard stone because it does not feel at all, for there is no greater grief than the grief of being alive, and no greater affliction than conscious life.
To be and to know nothing, and to have no fixed course, and the fear of what was and a terror of the future…and the certain horror of being dead tomorrow, and to suffer for life and the shadow [of death] and for
What we know not and hardly suspect; and for the flesh that tempts with its fresh grapes and for the waiting tomb with its funeral branches, and not to know whither we go nor whence we come….
A 1905 poem by Nicaraguan poet Rubén Darío (1867-1916). English translation by J. M. Cohen with a little help (including the title) from Antigone1984. After 1898, Darío spent much of his life in Europe, where, in the quaintly euphemistic terminology of the “Penguin Companion to Literature: USA and Latin America” (1971), “his health was undermined by dipsomania”. Hemingway and Scott Fitzgerald would have understood and sympathised.
You might perhaps care to view some of our earlier posts. For instance:
1. Why? or How? That is the question (3 Jan 2012)
2. Partitocracy v. Democracy (20 July 2012)
3. The shoddiest possible goods at the highest possible prices (2 Feb 2012)
4. Capitalism in practice (4 July 2012)
5.Ladder (21 June 2012)
6. A tale of two cities (1) (6 June 2012)
7. A tale of two cities (2) (7 June 2012)
8. Where’s the beef? Ontology and tinned meat (31 Jan 2012)
Every so often we shall change this sample of previously published posts.