The Peruvian poet Cesar Vallejo is considered one of the great Spanish-language poets of the twentieth century. Below is one of his poems that sings of the Muse many of us pursue.

Dead Idyll

What is she doing now, my Andean, sweet
Rita of the wild rushes and the wild grapes;
now that Byzantium suffocates me, and my blood drowses,
like weak cognac, within me.

Where are her hands that used to contritely iron
the afternoons, those whitenesses of the hereafter;
now, in this rain that takes away even
my desire to live.

What has become of her flannel skirt; of her
worries; of her way
of walking; of her tasting the sugarcane brandies of May?

She must be at the door watching some sign in the sky,
and finally, she’ll say, trembling: “Jesus…it’s cold!”
And in the roof’s thatched canes, a wild bird will cry.


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