Gabriela Mistral

(7 April 1889 – 10 January 1957 / Vicuna)

The Stranger (La Extranjera) - Poem by Gabriela Mistral

She speaks in her way of her savage seas
With unknown algae and unknown sands;
She prays to a formless, weightless God,
Aged, as if dying.
In our garden now so strange,
She has planted cactus and alien grass.
The desert zephyr fills her with its breath
And she has loved with a fierce, white passion
She never speaks of, for if she were to tell
It would be like the face of unknown stars.
Among us she may live for eighty years,
Yet always as if newly come,
Speaking a tongue that plants and whines
Only by tiny creatures understood.
And she will die here in our midst
One night of utmost suffering,
With only her fate as a pillow,
And death, silent and strang.

Comments about The Stranger (La Extranjera) by Gabriela Mistral

  • Castellenas John (5/5/2019 8:57:00 PM)

    This is poetry. Powerful and worthwhile words. Thank you Gabriela. (Report)Reply

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  • Kamiel Choi (10/6/2017 12:12:00 PM)

    It seems to be that the last line has a mistake. *silent and strange (Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • Fabrizio Frosini (5/10/2016 5:23:00 AM)

    Original Spanish text:

    La extranjera

    A Francis de Miomandre

    —«Habla con dejo de sus mares bárbaros,
    con no sé qué algas y no sé qué arenas;
    reza oración a dios sin bulto y peso,
    envejecida como si muriera.
    En huerto nuestro que nos hizo extraño,
    ha puesto cactus y zarpadas hierbas.
    Alienta del resuello del desierto
    y ha amado con pasión de que blanquea,
    que nunca cuenta y que si nos contase
    sería como el mapa de otra estrella.
    Vivirá entre nosotros ochenta años,
    pero siempre será como si llega,
    hablando lengua que jadea y gime
    y que le entienden sólo bestezuelas.
    Y va a morirse en medio de nosotros,
    en una noche en la que más padezca,
    con sólo su destino por almohada,
    de una muerte callada y extranjera».

    12 person liked.
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Poem Submitted: Monday, April 12, 2010

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