Sweet neighbor of green jungles
eternal guest of flowering spring
sworn enemy of the brambleberry
Violeta Parra.

From out of Chillán with your pottery and stitchery
dancer on transparent water
tree nesteled full of songbirds
Violeta Parra.

You've wandered far and wide
in search of buried earthenware
liberating captive birds
amid the branches.

Always looking out for others
(here a nephew, there an aunt)
when will you give a thought to yourself
Violeta Heart-of-Gold?

Cook, nanny, washerwoman,
maid of all work,
all the colors of the sunset
Violeta Parra.

Mountain blossom, seagull of the lakelands
no adjective is strong enough
no noun is strong enough
to name you.

But bureaucrats don't like you they lock
you out of your house
they wage all-out war against you
Violeta Parra.

Because you don't buy or sell yourself
because you won't play the clown
because you speak the people's language
Violeta Chileansis.

How could they ever love you
those shriveled-up little clerks
as gray as the sands of the desert
don't you see?

But you, Violeta of the Andes
flower of the coastal range
are an ever-flowing wellspring
of human life.

Your heart grows soft when it cares to
your will grows hard when it cares to
and your health when it cares to fights its way

You have only to speak their names
and the colors and forms
arise and walk like Lazarus
in body and soul.

No one can complain when you
sing whisper soft or scream
like your throat's being cut
Viola Volcano Woman.

Everyone should lapse into
profound religious silence
because your song knows where it's going

That's all I meant to tell you
keep on weaving your crafts
your Araucanian ponchos
your Quinchamali earthenware
keep on polishing night and day
your flutes of sacred wood,
ungrieving, without useless tears,
or if you like, with burning tears
and remember what you are:
a little lamb in wolf's clothing.

translated by Naomi Lindstrom
traducido por Naomi Lindstrom


en: revista Latin American Literary Review, 1981.


SISIB - Facultad de Filosofía y Humanidades - Universidad de Chile