Here’s another poem from Che Guevara’s Cuaderno Verde, written by César Vallejo (1892-1938). Vallejo was Peruvian, and was called by Thomas Merton “the greatest universal poet since Dante”. Pretty strong words. The first line of The Black Heralds is also one of the most recalled in Spanish poetry. Che used this poem to open his collection, and so I imagine that he liked the opening phrase too. Yet in my opinion, the English “I don’t know” doesn’t work as well as the original Spanish “no lo sé”. Here is the original Spanish, if you’re interested. Apologies if my translation is a bit iffy at times!
|The passage “dark furrows/in the fiercest of faces” seems
particularly applicable here, no offence César.