Tuesday, June 29, 2010


“So many gods!”

Alvaro de Campos
So many gods!
They’re like books—you can’t read everything, you never know anything.
Happy the man who knows but one god, and keeps him a secret.
Every day I have different beliefs—
Sometimes in the same day I have different beliefs—
And I wish I were the child now crossing
The view from my window of the street below.
He’s eating a cheap pastry (he’s poor) without efficient or final cause,
An animal uselessly raised above the other vertebrates,
And through his teeth he sings a ribald show tune . . .
Yes, there are many gods,
But I’d give anything to the one who’d take that child out of my sight.

-Álvaro de Campos

1 comment:

  1. This is powerful! In style and tone, it reminds me a little of Cesar Vallejo. Here's the last stanza of his "Black Stone on Top of a White Stone:

    "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...