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Do say when I die... (and may the day be far)
That haughty and disdainful, prodigal and turbulent,
In the insatiable vital ecstasy
He was a flame in the wind...

He wandered, sensual and sad, in the islands of his America;
In a pine grove of Honduras he strengthened his breath,
The Mexican land gave him his rebelliousness,
His freedom, his strength... And he was a flame in the wind...

From unfathomed depths he went up to the stars,
In his accent an unknown pain vibrated.
He was wise in his abysses —and humble, humble, humble—
Because he is nothing but a little flame to the wind.

And he knew of lugubrious things, so deep and lethal,
That human lyre could never clarify,
And no one has understood his tragic lament...
He was a flame in the wind and the wind put it out.

Porfirio Barba Jacob
Translator: Nicolás Suescún © 2006

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