To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.
A Robin Red breast in a Cage
Puts all Heaven in a Rage.
A Dove house fill'd with Doves & Pigeons
Shudders Hell thro' all its regions.
A dog starv'd at his Masters Gate
Predicts the ruin of the State.
A Horse misus'd upon the Road
Calls to Heaven for Human blood.
Each outcry of the hunted Hare
A fibre from the Brain does tear.
A Skylark wounded in the wing,
A Cherubim does cease to sing.
The Game Cock clip'd & arm'd for fight
Does the Rising Sun affright.
Every Wolf's & Lion's howl
Raises from Hell a Human Soul.
The wild deer, wand'ring here & there,
Keeps the Human Soul from Care.
The Lamb misus'd breeds Public strife
And yet forgives the Butcher's knife.
The Bat that flits at close of Eve
Has left the Brain that won't Believe.
The Owl that calls upon the Night
Speaks the Unbeliever's fright.
He who shall hurt the little Wren
Shall never be belov'd by Men.
He who the Ox to wrath has mov'd
Shall never be by Woman lov'd.
The wanton Boy that kills the Fly
Shall feel the Spider's enmity.
He who torments the Chafer's Sprite
Weaves a Bower in endless Night.
The Catterpiller on the Leaf
Repeats to thee thy Mother's grief.
Kill not the Moth nor Butterfly,
For the Last Judgment draweth nigh.
He who shall train the Horse to War
Shall never pass the Polar Bar.
The Begger's Dog & Widow's Cat,
Feed them & thou wilt grow fat.
The Gnat that sings his Summer's song
Poison gets from Slander's tongue.
The poison of the Snake & Newt
Is the sweat of Envy's Foot.
The poison of the Honey Bee
Is the Artist's Jealousy.
The Prince's Robes & Beggar's Rags
Are Toadstools on the Miser's Bags.
A Truth that's told with bad intent
Beats all the Lies you can invent.
It is right it should be so ;
Man was made for Joy & Woe ;
And when this we rightly know
Thro' the World we safely go.
Joy & Woe are woven fine,
A Clothing for the Soul divine ;
Under every grief & pine
Runs a joy with silken twine.
The Babe is more than swadling Bands ;
Throughout all these Human Lands
Tools were made, & Born were hands,
Every Farmer Understands.
Every Tear from Every Eye
Becomes a Babe in Eternity ;
This is caught by Females bright
And return'd to its own delight.
The Bleat, the Bark, Bellow & Roar
Are Waves that Beat on Heaven's Shore.
The Babe that weeps the Rod beneath
Writes Revenge in realms of death.
The Beggar's Rags, fluttering in Air,
Does to Rags the Heavens tear.
The Soldier, arm'd with Sword & Gun,
Palsied strikes the Summer's Sun.
The poor Man's Farthing is worth more
Than all the Gold on Afric's Shore.
One Mite wrung from the Labrer's hands
Shall buy & sell the Miser's Lands :
Or, if protected from on high,
Does that whole Nation sell & buy.
He who mocks the Infant's Faith
Shall be mock'd in Age & Death.
He who shall teach the Child to Doubt
The rotting Grave shall ne'er get out.
He who respects the Infant's faith
Triumphs over Hell & Death.
The Child's Toys & the Old Man's Reasons
Are the Fruits of the Two seasons.
The Questioner, who sits so sly,
Shall never know how to Reply.
He who replies to words of Doubt
Doth put the Light of Knowledge out.
The Strongest Poison ever known
Came from Caesar's Laurel Crown.
Nought can Deform the Human Race
Like to the Armour's iron brace.
When Gold & Gems adorn the Plow
To peaceful Arts shall Envy Bow.
A Riddle or the Cricket's Cry
Is to Doubt a fit Reply.
The Emmet's Inch & Eagle's Mile
Make Lame Philosophy to smile.
He who Doubts from what he sees
Will ne'er Believe, do what you Please.
If the Sun & Moon should doubt,
They'd immediately Go out.
To be in a Passion you Good may do,
But no Good if a Passion is in you.
The Whore & Gambler, by the State
Licenc'd, build that Nation's Fate.
The Harlot's cry from Street to Street
Shall weave Old England's winding Sheet.
The Winner's Shout, the Loser's Curse,
Dance before dead England's Hearse.
Every Night & every Morn
Some to Misery are Born.
Every Morn and every Night
Some are Born to sweet delight.
Some are Born to sweet delight,
Some are Born to Endless Night.
We are led to Believe a Lie
When we see not Thro' the Eye
Which was Born in a Night to perish in a Night
When the Soul Slept in Beams of Light.
God Appears & God is Light
To those poor Souls who dwell in Night,
But does a Human Form Display
To those who Dwell in Realms of day.
In Poems from MSS, 1803
Is this a holy thing to see
In a rich and fruitful land,
Babes reduced to misery
Fed with cold and usurous hand?
Is that trembling cry a song?
Can it be a song of joy?
And so many children poor?
It is a land of poverty!
And their sun does never shine.
And their fields are bleak & bare.
And their ways are fill’d with thorns.
It is eternal winter there.
For where-e’er the sun does shine,
And where-e’er the rain does fall:
Babe can never hunger there,
Nor poverty the mind appall.
In Songs of Experience, 1794
If we did not make somebody Poor ;
And Mercy no more could be
If all were as happy as we.
And mutual fear brings peace,
Till the selfish loves increase :
Then Cruelty knits a snare,
And spreads his baits with care.
He sits down with holy fears,
And waters the grounds with tears ;
Then Humility takes its root
Underneath his foot.
Soon spreads the dismal shade
Of Mystery over his head ;
And the Catterpillar and Fly
Feed on the Mystery.
And it bears the fruit of Deceit,
Ruddy and sweet to eat ;
And the Raven his nest has made
In its thickest shade.
The Gods of the earth and sea
Sought thro' Nature to find this Tree ;
But their search was all in vain :
There grows one in the Human Brain.
In Songs of Experience, 1794
En La materia del mundo (Milena Caserola, Buenos Aires 2014)
not much chance,
completely cut loose from
he was a young man
riding a bus
through North Carolina
on the way to somewhere
and it began to snow
and the bus stopped
at a little cafe
in the hills
and the passengers
he sat at the counter
with the others,
he ordered and the
the meal was
the waitress was
unlike the women
she was unaffected,
there was a natural
humor which came
the fry cook said
laughed, a good
the young man watched
the snow through the
he wanted to stay
in that cafe
the curious feeling
swam through him
and that it would always
then the bus driver
told the passengers
that it was time
the young man
thought, I’ll just stay
here, I’ll just stay
he rose and followed
the others into the
he found his seat
and looked at the cafe
through the bus
then the bus moved
off, down a curve,
downward, out of
the young man
he heard the other
of other things,
or they were
they had not
the young man
put his head to
and pretended to
there was nothing
else to do-
just to listen to the
sound of the
the sound of the
we are always asked
to understand the other person’s
no matter how
one is asked
their total error
especially if they are
but age is the total of
they have aged
because they have
out of focus,
they have refused to
not their fault?
I am asked to hide
for fear of their
age is no crime
but the shame
of a deliberately
among so many
"And if we are writers writing first of all from our own desire and need, if this is irresistible work for us, if in writing we experience certain kinds of power and freedom which may be unavailable to us in other ways - surely it would follow that we would want to make that kind of forming, shaping, naming, telling, accessible for anyone who can use it. It would seem only natural for writers to care passionately about literacy, public education, public libraries, public opportunities in all the arts. But more: if we care about the freedom of the word, about language as a liberatory current, if we care about imagination, we will care about economic justice".
"Y si somos escritores escribiendo antes que nada desde nuestro propio deseo y necesidad, si es un trabajo irresistible para nosotros, si en el escribir experimentamos ciertos tipos de poder y libertad que pueden no estar disponibles para nosotros de otras maneras - seguramente seguiría que querríamos hacer ese tipo de formar, moldear, nombrar, contar, accesible a cualquiera que lo pueda usar. Parecería tan solo natural para los escritores cuidar apasionadamente de lo literario, la educación pública, las bibliotecas públicas, y las oportunidades públicas en todas las artes. Aún más: si nos importa la libertad de la palabra, el lenguaje como corriente liberadora, si nos importa la imaginación, nos importa la justicia económica".
A quien lea,
esta es la manera
de escuchar mejor.
Más que palabras sinceras
palabras que mueven
Suenan igual pero
Para dar caricias
y no gritar.
Sobre papel aprendo a hablar.
Mi voz en la tinta para dar lugar
a la pasión que siento.
Vuelvo a encontrarme
en algunas cosas, en recuerdos
personas y pensamientos
en gotas, en migas, en colores.
En pilchas que me regalaron
personas que quiero.
Y me vuelvo a encontrar
después de la tormenta.
Este poema forma parte de Con sumo cuidado (libro inédito, en preparación)
A mí me gustaba mi trabajo
mis estudios también,
pero no cuestionaba mi historia.
Él pegó un grito.
No entendí bien por qué.
Ahora que estoy
más lejos de casa
y más cerca suyo,
me doy cuenta por qué
pasan ciertas cosas,
como por ejemplo
Este poema forma parte de Sismo, mi primer libro de poemas (edición autogestionada, julio 2017)
"La libertad es la madre de la virtud y si por su misma constitución las mujeres son esclavas y no se les permite respirar el aire vigoroso de la libertad, deben languidecer por siempre y ser consideradas como exóticas y hermosas imperfecciones de la naturaleza".
"Enseñadas desde su infancia que la belleza es el cetro de las mujeres, la mente se amolda al cuerpo y, errante en su dorada jaula, sólo busca adornar su prisión".
A Vindication of the Rights of Woman / Vindicación de los derechos de la mujer (1792)
I saw in Louisiana a live-oak growing,
All alone stood it and the moss hung down from the branches,
Without any companion it grew there uttering joyous leaves of dark green,
And its look, rude, unbending, lusty, made me think of myself,
But I wonder’d how it could utter joyous leaves standing alone there without its friend near, for I knew I could not,
And I broke off a twig with a certain number of leaves upon it, and twined around it a little moss,
And brought it away, and I have placed it in sight in my room,
It is not needed to remind me as of my own dear friends,
(For I believe lately I think of little else than of them,)
Yet it remains to me a curious token, it makes me think of manly love;
For all that, and though the live-oak glistens there in Louisiana solitary in a wide flat space,
Uttering joyous leaves all its life without a friend a lover near,
I know very well I could not.
Source: Leaves of Grass (1892)