We dream and fight
With demons real and imagined;
We only live if we dream;
We grow from our dreams,
From our own La Mancha.
Don Quixote is not an imaginary person;
He is as real as Alexander the Great;
His Dulcinea—as real as Cleopatra,
His windmills are as real as the Library of Alexandria,
As real as scores of languages dead and forgotten,
As real as Attila, or lost Constantinople.
His windmills are lost Ayah Sofias;
His battles had to be won
By sleepy emperors
Too busy to wage them.
We need Don Quixote and La Mancha.
When the whole past is but a phantom,
When many a city fell,
The idea remained—
Stronger than any city, stronger than any empire.
Quixote shines from Lorca and Picasso,
From Dali and El Greco,
From the gloomy View of Toledo.
He was born before Cervantes.
Those in Argentina, Mexico and Peru,
Colombia and the Caribbean
Bear La Mancha and Quixote in their hearts
For he is an ultimate and overlooked Don Juan.
Marquez was not born in Colombia.
He was born in Macondo,
And his Macondo is his La Mancha.
Fuentes and Cortazar are from La Mancha too.
Neruda had his first dream,
First meeting with the Moon and the Sun
In sunny La Mancha, hiding in his heart
Where he learned how to sing like a nightingale.
Don Quixote is not just Don Quixote;
La Mancha is not just geography;
It is our personal territory—
It is not important what happens where;
Where we fall or rise,
What we conquer or lose,
How big or small we are.
All places come and go.
History will be erased in the universal purgatory.
Dreams are our only geography—
Our native land.
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