EPITAPH FOR JOAQUÍN PASOS
He used to walk here, along these streets,
without job or position and without a peso.
Only poets, prostitutes, and bums
knew his verses.
He was never abroad.
He was in prison.
Now he’s dead.
He hasn’t any monument . . .
remember him when you have concrete bridges,
big turbines, tractors, silver-plated barns,
Because in his poems he purified the language of his people,
in which one day trade agreements will be written,
the Constitution, the love letters,
and the decrees.
ERNESTO CARDENAL, Nicaragua (1925 – 2020)
Translation Germain Droogenbroodt – Stanley Barkan
EPITAFIO PARA JOAQUÍN PASOS