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Poems of Roque Dalton

Being very busy these days. I find it easy to post poems. here are some poems of Roque Dalton.

(Roque Dalton (1935-1975) was a Salvadoran poet. Dalton was a Communist and organized peasant resistance to the Salvadoran government. He twice escaped death in legendary fashion – arrested and sentenced to death in 1961, the Salvadoran government was overthrown the night of his planned execution; again in 1965, he was arrested while in exile in Mexico and sentenced to death – but on the night before his scheduled execution, an earthquake destroyed the walls of the prison and he escaped again. Ironically, Dalton was finally killed by his own people in 1975, during a power struggle among revolutionary groups.

Published widely while in exile in Cuba and in Mexico, these poems by Dalton are from Taberna y otros Lugares (Taverns and other Places), written and published in 1969 during his time as a correspondent in Prague.)

— —


It is beautiful to be Communist,
although it causes many headaches.

You see the headache of Communism
is supposed to be historical, that is to say
it does not yield to analgesic tablets
but only through the accomplishment of Earth Paradise.
Tell you what, it is the bomb!

Under Capitalism when our heads hurt
they just take our heads.
In the Revolutionary Struggle, the head is a retardation bomb.
In Socialist Construction we plan our headaches
which does not make them scarce, quite the opposite

Communism will be, among other things,
an aspirin as large as the sun

27 YEARS ……….

It is a serious thing
to be twenty-seven years old
in fact it is one of
the most serious things around
to experience the death of friends
and childhood drowning
one begins to doubt
his own immortality.


The dead are more unmanageable every day.

Before it was easy with them:
we gave flowers to the uptight ones
we gave the relatives the names on one long list:
to these we gave national borders
to those we gave remarkable peace
that one we gave a monstrous marble tomb

Then we saluted the memory of the corpses
and went to their cemetery rows
marching to the compass of old music.

But where the dead go
is different now.

Today they ask
ironic questions.

And it seems to me that they fall more and more
on account of being
more and more
the majority.


“marxismo-leninismo is a rock
to break the head of imperialism
and the bourgeoisie.”

“No. marxismo-leninismo is the sling
with which that stone is thrown.”

“No, no. marxismo-leninismo is the idea
that moves the arm that drives the elastic band
of the sling that throws the stone.”

“marxismo-leninismo is the sword to cut the hands of imperialism.”

“What? marxismo-leninismo is the theory
of doing manicures on the hands
of imperialism while looking for an opportunity to manacle them.”

What I am going to do if I go through life
reading about marxismo-leninismo
and then when i’m grown
I have forgotten that I have pockets full of stones
and a sling in my back pocket
and that it could very well result
in a sword being stuck in my gut
and that it wouldn’t support anyone
for five minutes in a beauty parlor?


July 30, 2009 - Posted by | Art, poetry

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