Remembering Chile, 40 Years Ago Today: An Unfinished Song

Holyrood, 11th Sept 2013

Holyrood, 11th Sept 2013

 

There are five thousand of us here
in this small part of the city.
We are five thousand.
I wonder how many we are in all
in the cities and in the whole country?
Here alone
are ten thousand hands which plant seeds
and make the factories run.
How much humanity
exposed to hunger, cold, panic, pain,
moral pressure, terror and insanity?
Six of us were lost
as if into starry space.
One dead, another beaten as I could never have believed
a human being could be beaten.
The other four wanted to end their terror
one jumping into nothingness,
another beating his head against a wall,
but all with the fixed stare of death.
What horror the face of fascism creates!
They carry out their plans with knife-like precision.
Nothing matters to them.
To them, blood equals medals,
slaughter is an act of heroism.
Oh God, is this the world that you created,
for this your seven days of wonder and work?
Within these four walls only a number exists
which does not progress,
which slowly will wish more and more for death.
But suddenly my conscience awakes
and I see that this tide has no heartbeat,
only the pulse of machines
and the military showing their midwives’ faces
full of sweetness.
Let Mexico, Cuba and the world
cry out against this atrocity!
We are ten thousand hands
which can produce nothing.
How many of us in the whole country?
The blood of our President, our compañero,
will strike with more strength than bombs and machine guns!
So will our fist strike again!

How hard it is to sing
when I must sing of horror.
Horror which I am living,
horror which I am dying.
To see myself among so much
and so many moments of infinity
in which silence and screams
are the end of my song.
What I see, I have never seen
What I have felt and what I feel
Will give birth to the moment…

Estadio Chile, September 1973

The poignant story behind this, the last poem written by Victor Jara, can be found here.

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  1. bellacaledonia says:

    Uncovering Britain’s secret role in protecting Chile’s 1973 coup

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/sep/11/chile-1973-coup-britain-protecting

  2. Wondering… what has all this to do with Scotland???? I live in Venezuela and am unfortunately fully aware of what went on in Chile from the right (supposedly …) way back then. Here we are living the same and possibly worse with the only active “Communist” (let ‘s say leftist…???) government currently still in power in 2013… people who changed sides during the latest elections here in April have gone missing and have had their phones taken away in order to find out who else at last realised they were barking up the wrong tree…

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