Nicanor Parra

(September 5, 1914 / Chillán)

The Last Toast


Whether we like it or not,
We have only three choices:
Yesterday, today and tomorrow.

And not even three
Because as the philosopher says
Yesterday is yesterday
It belongs to us only in memory:
From the rose already plucked
No more petals can be drawn.

The cards to play
Are only two:
The present and the future.

And there aren't even two
Because it's a known fact
The present doesn't exist
Except as it edges past
And is consumed...,
like youth.

In the end
We are only left with tomorrow.
I raise my glass
To the day that never arrives.

But that is all
we have at our disposal.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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Comments about this poem (The Last Toast by Nicanor Parra )

  • Gold Star - 5,418 Points Savita Tyagi (1/8/2015 9:12:00 AM)

    Raise my glass to the day that never arrives. How beautiful! Loved the play of words! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 25 Points Jinal Oswal (12/8/2011 4:40:00 AM)

    Amazing flow of words, wonderfully explained life.. From the rose already plucked
    No more petals can be drawn. So true, why cry over the spilt milk? ? Live life to the fullest... I liked it :) (Report) Reply

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