Black Messengers. (Translation Of Los Heraldos Negros) Poem by Cesar Vallejo

Black Messengers. (Translation Of Los Heraldos Negros)

Rating: 3.0


There are in life such hard blows . . . I don't know!
Blows seemingly from God's wrath; as if before them
the undertow of all our sufferings
is embedded in our souls . . . I don't know!

There are few; but are . . . opening dark furrows
in the fiercest of faces and the strongest of loins,
They are perhaps the colts of barbaric Attilas
or the dark heralds Death sends us.


They are the deep falls of the Christ of the soul,
of some adorable one that Destiny Blasphemes.
Those bloody blows are the crepitation
of some bread getting burned on us by the oven's door


And the man . . . poor . . . poor!
He turns his eyes around, like
when patting calls us upon our shoulder;
he turns his crazed maddened eyes,
and all of life's experiences become stagnant, like a puddle of guilt, in a daze.


There are such hard blows in life. I don't know

COMMENTS OF THE POEM
Philip Catley 02 May 2014

A reviewer (Alaric) on Amazon proposed this alternative translation, which I prefer: There are beatings in life, so heavy... I don't know! - Lashes issued from the hatred of God, as if before them the undercurrent of all endured; welts inundated within the soul... I don't know! They are few, but they're... They burrow uncertain lines in the most insolent faces, and in the strongest back; Perhaps they are the colts of barbarous Attilas, or the black heralds dispatched to us at Death's behest. They are the deep descents of the Christs of the soul, of some adored faith cursed by Fate. Those bloodying blows are crepetations at the oven's door of some loaf we burn with. And the man, the poor... poor man! - He turns his eyes... he turns his maddened eyes as when a hand on the shoulder falls upon us, and everything lived swells -like a pool of guilt- in the glance. There are blows in life, so heavy... I don't know!

6 1 Reply
Daniel Essman 20 June 2019

While I understand the economy of having the poems read aloud by a computer, it does seem blasphemous...or satirical...or, in the case of this particular poem...giving up...

0 0 Reply
Richard Wlodarski 28 April 2016

Poetry is the most difficult form of writing. Why? Because not one word can be wasted. The translation of poetry is an arduous task. The translator must not only capture the essence of the poem, but also, every little nuance. Vallejo's poetry gives me even greater incentive to study the most beautiful of languages.

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Kim Barney 19 March 2015

Who did the translation? If Cesar Vallejo is the poet, who was the translator? He/she should be given credit. Does anyone know where I can find a copy of this poem in the original Spanish? It must surely be better than this translation, which only has a rating of 6.0 out of ten from the 40 people who have voted so far.

1 0 Reply
John Richter 19 March 2015

The years and centuries change - but this poem expresses the truth that we souls do not... A human condition for the ages - quite thoughtful and spiritual this...

1 0 Reply
Pranab K Chakraborty 19 March 2015

and all of life's experiences become stagnant, like a puddle of guilt, in a daze. Sad! Quiet skilled writing to penetrate humanity.

0 0 Reply
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