Summer | A poem by César Vallejo, 1892-1938

Lyonel Feininger, On the Shore of our Sea, 1910

Summer, I am leaving now. The submissive
little hands of your evenings pain me.
You arrive devoutly; you arrive old;
and now you will not find anyone in my soul.

Summer! And you will pass by my balconies
with a great rosary of amethyst and gold,
like a sad bishop who would come
from afar to seek and to bless
the broken rings of some dead sweethearts.

Summer, I am leaving now. Over there, in September
I have a rose that I will entrust to you completely;
you will sprinkle it with holy water all
the days of sin and of tomb.

If from crying the mausoleum,
in the light of faith, should flutter its marble wings,
raise on high your response, and pray
to God that such light remains dead forever.
It is way too late now;
you will not find anyone in my soul.

Cry no more, Summer! In that furrow
a rose dies to be reborn evermore…

Cesar Vallejo, Summer
translation José R. Barcia
The Complete Poetry: A Bilingual Edition

Peruvian poet César Vallejo in Nice, 1929

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