TWN  |  THIRD WORLD RESURGENCE |  ARCHIVE
THIRD WORLD RESURGENCE

The Chilean poet Gabriela Mistral (1889-1957) was the first Latin American winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature. She was passionately concerned about the plight of children, especially those languishing in poverty. Not surprisingly, the theme of a mother's love, exemplified in the poem below, is a familiar one in her poetry.


If you'll just go to sleep

Gabriela Mistral

The blood red rose

I gathered yesterday,

and the fire and cinnamon

of the carnation,

Bread baked with

anise seed and honey,

and a fish in a bowl

that makes a glow:

All this is yours,

baby born of woman,

if you'll just

go to sleep.

A rose, I say!

I say a carnation!

Fruit, I say!

And I say honey!

A fish that glitters!

And more, I say -

if you will only

sleep till day.

Translated from the Spanish by Langston Hughes

*Third World Resurgence No. 319/320, Mar/Apr 2017, p 60


TWN  |  THIRD WORLD RESURGENCE |  ARCHIVE