Thursday, 1 February 2018

He sat down in his chair - Mercedes Durand

He sat down in his chair
after watching
thirty thousand peasants die.
That night he had for supper
herbal soup
boiled pumpkin blossoms
and lemon juice…
He was a theosophist
and knew the fine points of witchcraft.
He put water
to settle in the sun
in pretty painted bottles
and wouldn’t stand for
the killing
of an ant
a mosquito
or a spider.
He never looked anyone in the eye.
He worshipped Hitler and Mussolini.

Mercedes Durand (1933 - 1999) El Salvador
Translated by Professor Keith Ellis
Source: Zócalo Poets
This poem is about General Maximiliano Hernandez Martinez's inhumanity during his terms as El Salvador's president 1931-1944
The original Spanish versions of the above poems were compiled in México in 1982, edited by Gabriela Yanes, Manuel Sorto, Horacio Castellanos Moya and Lyn Sorto, and published as Fragmentos de la actual literatura salvadoreña (Universidad Nacional de Querétaro, México, 1983)

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