Javier Campos

(Chile, now in USA)

The Young Poet


Many centuries ago I too was a young poet
I wrote about hopeless love affairs I surely had
about the life I spent in warm places
or snowy ones
or I imagined it all like every adolescent poet should
maybe I penned a powerful image
but nobody ever discovered it
nor was it ever read which is the worst
for a young poet
I dreamed that some of my verses
made a famous poet tremble
then he would write asking to see the rest of my writing
to visit his house or his country, drink his wine
contemplate his enviable treasures
(some of Rimbaud's used shoes
for example,
young Yesenin's peasant blouse
or the revolver
Mayakovsky used to commit suicide)

other times I imagined I was welcomed
by crowds
like the artists from international video clips

now I’m an aged poet
who wasn't touched by the light of fame
in a very distant time I was
the beautiful poet, tender and ingenuous

it no longer matters to me if my poems
are buried
in a computerized Postmodern library
on some dusty shelf
in the farthest galaxy
of our Infinite Universe

I only know that poems are the indecipherable hieroglyphs
of a species ever more endangered

archeological ruins
sunken beneath tons of rock
rarely visible in tropical jungles
where many-colored exotic birds sang over them
haphazardly
constructing

atop the millenarian past
their fleeting nests.


(Translated from Spanish by Nick W.Hill)

Submitted: Friday, June 27, 2008
Edited: Friday, June 27, 2008

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