Nicanor Parra

(September 5, 1914 / Chillán)

The Last Toast - Poem by Nicanor Parra

Whether we like it or not,
We have only three choices:
Yesterday, today and tomorrow.

And not even three
Because as the philosopher says
Yesterday is yesterday
It belongs to us only in memory:
From the rose already plucked
No more petals can be drawn.

The cards to play
Are only two:
The present and the future.

And there aren't even two
Because it's a known fact
The present doesn't exist
Except as it edges past
And is consumed...,
like youth.

In the end
We are only left with tomorrow.
I raise my glass
To the day that never arrives.

But that is all
we have at our disposal.

Comments about The Last Toast by Nicanor Parra

  • Fabrizio Frosini (5/2/2016 11:57:00 AM)

    Spanish text:


    Lo queramos o no
    Sólo tenemos tres alternativas:
    El ayer, el presente y el mañana.

    Y ni siquiera tres
    Porque como dice el filósofo
    El ayer es ayer
    Nos pertenece sólo en el recuerdo:
    A la rosa que ya se deshojó
    No se le puede sacar otro pétalo.

    Las cartas por jugar
    Son solamente dos:
    El presente y el día de mañana.

    Y ni siquiera dos
    Porque es un hecho bien establecido
    Que el presente no existe
    Sino en la medida en que se hace pasado
    Y ya pasó...,
    como la juventud.

    En resumidas cuentas
    Sólo nos va quedando el mañana:
    Yo levanto mi copa
    Por ese día que no llega nunca
    Pero que es lo único
    De lo que realmente disponemos.
    (Report) Reply

    18 person liked.
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  • (1/8/2015 9:12:00 AM)

    Raise my glass to the day that never arrives. How beautiful! Loved the play of words! (Report) Reply

  • Jinal Oswal (12/8/2011 4:40:00 AM)

    Amazing flow of words, wonderfully explained life.. From the rose already plucked
    No more petals can be drawn. So true, why cry over the spilt milk? ? Live life to the fullest... I liked it :)
    (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: future, memory, today, rose

Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

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