Monday, February 4, 2013

Pedro Salinas: "Wake Up. Day Calls You"

Wake up. Day calls you
to your life: your duty.
And to live, nothing more.
Root it out of the glum
night and the darkness
that covered your body
for which light waited
on tiptoe in the dawn.
Stand up, affirm the straight
simple will to be
a pure slender virgin.
Test your body's metal.
Cold, heat? Your blood
will tell against the snow,
or behind the window.
The colour
in your cheeks will tell.
And look at people. Rest
doing no more than adding
your perfection to another
day. Your task
is to carry your life high,
and play with it, hurl it
like a voice to the clouds
so it may retrieve the light
already gone from us.
That is your fate: to live.
Do nothing.
Your work is you, nothing more.

"Wake Up. Day Calls You" by Pedro Salinas, from My Voice Because of You, translated by Willis Barnstone. © State University of New York Press, 1977.

Photograph: "An Empty Bed in an Empty Room," by aimeelikestotakepics (originally color).


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