The "anti-poet" circa 1939

I have discovered a poem, I Sinner, by the Chillean “anti-poet”, Nicanor Parra (1914-20??), who sought to reject the belief that verse holds any mystical power. This man is good. Read him.   -m

I Sinner

I imperfect gentleman
I dancer at the abyss’s edge,

I obscene sacristan
Prodigal child of dumpsters,

I nephew – I grandson
I thick-soled confabulator,

I lord of the flies
I quarterer of swallows,

I football player
I swimmer of Estero las Toscas,

I defiler of tombs
I mumps-sick satan,

I remiss conscript
I citizen with voting rights,

I devil’s shepherd
I boxer beat by my shadow,

I distinguished drinker
I priest of the good table,

I cueca champion,
I absolute tango champion,
Guaracha, rumba, waltz champion,

I protestant pastor
I prawn, I family father,

I petty bourgeois
I professor of occult sciences,

I communist, I conservative
I compiler of old saints,

(I luxury tourist)

I chicken thief
I dancer immobile in the air,

I maskless executioner
I egyptian demigod with the head of a bird,

I on my feet on a cardboard rock:

Let there be mists,
Let there be chaos,
let there be clouds,

I born delinquent
Surprised in flagrante,

Stealing flowers in the moonlight
I ask forgiveness left & right & center
But I do not declare myself guilty.


2 Comments on “I SINNER”

  1. awesome!!! Thanks for posting.. Could you please so kind as to advise the source of this poem (book, translator, etc…) as I’m translating some of his poems… Thanks in advance..

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