Cesar Vallejo


    Biographical information

  1. Black Stone On Top Of A White Stone
  2. Paris, October 1936
  3. To My Brother Miguel In Memoriam

    Biographical information
      Name: César Abraham Vallejo Mendoza
      Place and date of birth: Santiago de Chuco (Peru); March 16, 1892
      Place and date of death: Paris (France); April 15, 1938 (aged 46)

      Black Stone On Top Of A White Stone
        I shall die in Paris, in a rainstorm,
        On a day I already remember.
        I shall die in Paris it does not bother me
        Doubtless on a Thursday, like today, in Autumn.
        It shall be a Thursday, because today, Thursday
        As I put down these lines, I have set my shoulders
        To the evil. Never like today have I turned,
        And headed my whole journey to the ways where I am alone.
        Cesar Vallejo is dead. They struck him,
        All of them, though he did nothing to them,
        They hit him hard with a stick and hard also
        With the end of a rope. Witnesses are: the Thursdays,
        The shoulder bones, the loneliness, the rain, and the roads...

      Paris, October 1936
        From all of this I am the only one who leaves.
        From this bench I go away, from my pants,
        from my great situation, from my actions,
        from my number split side to side,
        from all of this I am the only one who leaves.
        From the Champs Elysees or as the strange
        alley of the Moon makes a turn,
        my death goes away, my cradle leaves,
        and, surrounded by people, alone, cut loose,
        my human resemblance turns around
        and dispatches its shadows one by one.
        And I move away from everything, since everything
        remains to create my alibi:
        my shoe, its eyelet, as well as its mud
        and even the bend in the elbow
        of my own buttoned shirt.

      To My Brother Miguel In Memoriam
        Brother, today I sit on the brick bench of the house,
        where you make a bottomless emptiness.
        I remember we used to play at this hour, and mama
        caressed us: "But, sons..."
        Now I go hide
        as before, from all evening
        lectures, and I trust you not to give me away.
        Through the parlor, the vestibule, the corridors.
        Later, you hide, and I do not give you away.
        I remember we made ourselves cry,
        brother, from so much laughing.
        Miguel, you went into hiding
        one night in August, toward dawn,
        but, instead of chuckling, you were sad.
        And the twin heart of those dead evenings
        grew annoyed at not finding you. And now
        a shadow falls on my soul.
        Listen, brother, don't be late
        coming out. All right? Mama might worry.