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John Howard Reid

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Hat, Overcoat, Gloves by Cesar Vallejo
by John Howard Reid

Friday, July 09, 2010
Rated "G" by the Author.
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Recent poems by John Howard Reid
•  ROSALIA de CASTRO The Old Road Del antiguo camino
•  HAPPINESS by Rosalia de Castro
•  Restless Thoughts by Rosalia de Castro
•  The Two Doves by Rosalia de Castro
•  Taste and See That the Lord Is Good
           >> View all 155

Valejo, César (1892-1938). Known as a literary innovator, Peru’s César Valejo is easily the most popular Spanish poet among English-speaking readers. He enjoys the rare distinction not only of having all his poetical works available in English, but in some nine or ten different versions from no less than fourteen translators. Here is a typical playful poem from a master of the genre. This poem is one over a hundred others included in my book, A SALUTE TO SPANISH POETRY: 100 MASTERPIECES FROM SPAIN AND LATIN AMERICA RENDERED INTO ENGLISH VERSE.


 

Hat, Overcoat, Gloves

 

translated from the Spanish of César Vallejo

 

 

 

Right opposite the Comédie Française, stands the Regency

Café. Inside the café is a hidden room with an easy chair

and a table. When I enter, dust is still thick in the air.

 

The stub of a cigarette smolders between my rubbery

lips. In the smoke, I see two things clearly, namely

that my humor is humorous, and that the smoky

air is throated with a deep oxide of sadness.

 

Autumn is Autumn. And Fall must be grafted into Fall.

Fall must be integrated with the young shoots.

Clouds should be boxed into half-years.

And wrinkles belong on cheeks.

 

It’s important you don’t smell like an idiot,

or postulate how hot is the snow,

how fleeting the tortoise,

how simple the how,

how deadly the when!

John Howard Reid

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Reviewed by JMS Bell 7/11/2010
MANY DIFFERENT MOODS OF THE POET ARE DESCRIBED WITH THIS WORK WRITTEN AS ONE ENTERS A CAFE...IN THE WINTER TIME. THANKS FOR SHARING, LOVE AND BLESSINGS. JOYCE * HIS INSPIRATIONS
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