710 | Pastime – Mario Benedetti, Uruguay

foto bij ithaca gedicht 710 van Mario Benedetti

Painting by Patrick von Kalckreuth, Germany 1892-1970


When we were kids,
the old men were about thirty,
a puddle was an ocean
death flat and even—
didn’t exist.

Then when we were teens,
old men were people in their forties,
a pond was an ocean—
death only
a word

By the time we got married,
the old people were in their fifties,
a lake was an ocean—
death was the death
of the others.

Now veterans,
we’ve caught up with the truth,
the ocean is at last the ocean—
but death starts
to be ours.


Mario Benedetti, Uruguay (1920 – 2009)

Translation Germain Droogenbroodt – Stanley Barkan

from “Antología poética”, Alianza Editorial, Madrid