Upon The Dead I Am Sitting Poem by Miguel Hernandez

Upon The Dead I Am Sitting

Upon the dead I am sitting
Who have laid still for two months,
Their empty shoes I have kissed
And madly grasped the heart's hand
And the soul sustaining it.

Let my voice rise to the mountains
And on falling earthward thunder,
That is what my throat is craving
Now and always.

Come within my cry, my people,
Who were reared on the same milk,
Tree whose roots imprison me,
For I have come here to love you
And am ready to defend you
With my blood and with my mouth
As if with two faithful rifles.

If from the land I have come
And from a womb I was born
Luckless and poor,
It was only so I'd be
The nightingale of misfortunes,
Echo of adversity,
And to sing and to repeat
To those who should listen to me
All things relating to sorrow,
To the poor, and to the land.

Yesterday the people woke
Naked with nothing to wear,
Hungry with nothing to eat,
And today they have awakened
Justly angry, bleeding justly.
The rifles clutched in their hands
Would be transformed into lions
To finish off all the beasts
That have been beasts for so long.

Though you may not have the arms,
People of ten myriad powers,
Let not your bones be weary,
Punish them that foully strike you
While you still have fists, nails, spit,
Heart, guts and sinews to fight with,
The things of manhood and teeth.
Brave as the wind is brave,
Light as the air is light,
Kill those that kill,
Hate those that hate
The peace of your heart,
The wombs of your women.
Don't turn your backs to them,
Live face to face and die
With chest thrust to the bullets,
Wide as the wall is wide.

I sing in a mournful voice,
Of your heroes, my people:
Of your fears that are my fears,
Your misfortunes that are cast
On the same metal as my cry,
Your sorrows of the same stripes,
And of the same wood
Your thoughts, my brow,
Your heart, my blood,
Your pain, my laurels.
A corridor leading nowhere
Does this life appear to me.

Here while my heart beats I'll live
And here will die when my time comes,
Among the springs of my people,
With my people now and always.
Life consists of many cruel blows,
Death consists of only one.

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