Solo de Piano (Nicanor Parra Translation)

When the life of a man is a distant action

a small piece of pumice to polish the interior of a vase

when the trees resist the wind with their agitation

not the beaches or the plains with perpetual movement


When the others have nothing more to serenade

like the gods there is nothing beyond that

when you cannot speak for to feel echoes

there is no demand to speak

and the echo is outside the voices it produces


And when no magnolias are given to the chaos

of the garden which buffets the branches in a strange wind

the leaping heads which resolve the answers of death

for to feel resuscitated after a calm


When you have used the excesses of women

when again you exist in heaven and in hell

then again you have lost other things


I want to find the ruin of you

and I want my heart to feel nothing