Ruben Dario

(January 18, 1867 - February 6, 1916 / Metapa)

Fatality - Poem by Ruben Dario

The tree is happy because it is scarcely sentient;
the hard rock is happier still, it feels nothing:
there is no pain as great as being alive,
no burden heavier than that of conscious life.

To be, and to know nothing, and to lack a way,
and the dread of having been, and future terrors...
And the sure terror of being dead tomorrow,
and to suffer all through life and through the darkness,

and through what we do not know and hardly suspect...
And the flesh that temps us with bunches of cool grapes,
and the tomb that awaits us with its funeral sprays,
and not to know where we go,
nor whence we came! ...

Poet's Notes about The Poem

from Selected Poems by Rubén Darío, translated by Lysander Kemp, University of Texas, Austin, 1988

Comments about Fatality by Ruben Dario

  • (11/19/2015 9:20:00 PM)

    The poet is turning to fatalism, an age old theme, quotably expressed in Thomas Gray's
    'Elegy in a country churchyard'. I wish we amateurs try to write something different,
    personal, even describing a minor incident in our daily life, mostly suburban perhaps.
    My rating for this poem is 6.
    A. Madhavan
    (Report) Reply

    2 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Kim Barney (11/19/2015 8:22:00 PM)

    His real name was Félix Rubén García Sarmiento, and this poem seems to indicate that he had no belief in the hereafter.
    He says 'there is no pain as great as being alive'
    and I totally disagree. Life is great!
    He did a great job expressing himself in the poem, however.
    (Report) Reply

  • (11/19/2015 8:13:00 PM) incredible poem....the ending is extraordinary ★ (Report) Reply

  • Shah Surja (11/19/2015 3:12:00 PM)

    We came here:
    the light pierces the darkness in the world.
    And, in the hope of creating an enlightened world, will go dark.
    (Report) Reply

  • Susan Williams (11/19/2015 1:37:00 PM)

    The pain of a conscious life is the price we pay for a soul- although there are a few personality types who manage to lead an unconscious life and never feel pain or remorse. (Report) Reply

  • Seema Jayaraman (11/19/2015 10:49:00 AM)

    The pain of a conscious life.. well drafted.. thanks for sharing (Report) Reply

  • Godfrey Morris (11/19/2015 10:47:00 AM)

    Awesome this poem has a lot of great lines. There is no pain as great as being alive (Report) Reply

  • (11/19/2015 4:18:00 AM)

    The different pain of life beautifully narrated in the poem and it is most meaningful. (Report) Reply

  • (11/19/2015 4:12:00 AM)

    The dread of death should not be allowed to malign the beauty of life and birth. Since birth/ life and death are two sides of same coin, sanctity of both must be preserved. Death too has it's own brighter shade. There is meaning to life span due to death. An endless life period would have been certainly boring and monotonous.
    Off course, this is another aspect of the issue. The poem is awe some. Thanks for sharing.10+++
    (Report) Reply

  • Paul Reed (11/19/2015 3:20:00 AM)

    There is no pain as great as being alive... great line (Report) Reply

  • Rajnish Manga (11/19/2015 1:38:00 AM)

    What a wonderful assessment of life's uncertainties and the fear of unknown and of death. It also deals with eternal questions about where we have come from and where do we go to.
    there is no pain as great as being alive,
    no burden heavier than that of conscious life.
    (Report) Reply

  • Rahman Henry (11/19/2015 12:28:00 AM)

    and not to know where we go,
    nor whence we came! ...
    (Report) Reply

  • (11/19/2015 12:08:00 AM)

    A hopeless fate!
    Great lines showing a hopeless estate... quite personal though
    (Report) Reply

Read all 13 comments »

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Poem Edited: Friday, May 11, 2012

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