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Muero Con La Patria


A foul battle was fought at Piribebuy,

López organizó un nuevo ejército,

Casi por milagro, con niños, ancianos, mutilados, heridos y mujeres.

Los vencedores incendiaron el hospital,

Repleto de heridos y degollaron al comandante de

La plaza mayor.  Fueron contenidos de niños

Disfrazados con largas barbas

Y que se dejaron matar uno por uno.”*

Hitler had little to learn from this guy,

Who said, expiring,  “Muero con la patria.”**

All about territory, no thought of human

Improvement. Just frontiers and power -

A small anticipation of the First World War

In Europe. But how peaceful is

Piribebuy today, as if left alone

For at least a century.




That was another day, another year,

Here I study that, a little laboratory

Of insanity, that can however be explained;

At least, the circumstances that made such actions

Possible or likely, but not inevitable,

Can be interpreted, if not determined.

Remember Kant`s argument about Free Will.




There are choices, alternatives;

You can even face against a fence,

Or a wall of flame, a tidal wave

Of apparent inevitability.

You can be one voice shouting through a hell,

To reach ears in another epoch,

That hear, and agree a little.

To whistle through the napalm, as it were,

Or cry foul, at each massacre of Palestinians

In their own land.  You can say:

“Principles of Justice should be universally applied,”

Even though you will be immediately drowned

In rotten tomatoes and accusations

Of Communism and Subversion.

Not much fun it is, and little glory

Accrues to you, but at least you do not die

In your deepest soul, and can feel

A friendship with something warm.




And so, in flabby freedom I,

Persist in insisting something still,

For what else can I do?

“I will die with my dreams.”






















*Lopez organized a new army

As if by miracle:  children, old men, the crippled and wounded, and                                 women.

The victors set fire to a hospital

Full of wounded soldiers, and beheaded the commander

In the main plaza.  They murdered

Boys disguised as men with beards,

Putting them to death one by one.




**I die together with my country!


(My translations from Efraím Cardozo.)


Tim Cloudsley nació Cambridge, Inglaterra. Es sociologo, escritor y poeta. Trabajó como profesor en la Escuela de Idiomas, de la Universidad Industrial de Santander, Bucaramanga en el ámbito de estudios culturales y literatura.

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