Vicente Huidobro - Elegy for the Death of Lenin

[Elegia para la muerte de Lenin]#

Greater than the song of life
greater than death itself
greater than the pain of memory
greater than the anguish of time
is your presence in the soul of the world.

You, heights-scaling man
You, heart of tamed fires
entering the tomb
you were like a sudden sun in winter
you were like a summer in death
with you, death becomes greater than life.

The centuries retreat from your tomb
jungles and rivers come as pilgrims
and countries kneel
cities parade like flags
and like bandstands
the remotest villages are like burning crowns
the sun strews flowers in the streets for your celebration.

Which is the celebration of man:
the waves leap over each other to arrive first
to bring you the greetings of their far-off regions
the sound of seas
melts into the song of the masses
your death has created an anniversary
greater than the anniversary of a mountain.
You have triumphed, you have triumphed
a date as great as this one
has not been worked by men
you have opened the doors of the new age
your stature rises
like a cannon shot that splits human history in two.

A man has passed by Earth
and left the Earth warm for centuries
with you, death becomes greater than life.

You are man’s nobility
in you begins a new universal lineage
and just as your life was the life of life itself
so will your death be the death of death.

A man has overturned the mountains
in the depths of the centuries sound the footsteps of millions of slaves
which recede over time’s surface and time resounds with echo upon echo
there is no more distance between one tribe and the other
your seed voice that brings the venerable winds
your voice, Lenin, changes the human race
and makes one single land out of so many hostile lands
you are the shape of the centuries to come
you are the doppelganger of the future
the roar of hate become the song of love
obeying the impulses of the Earth
you cried out to the consciences who sensed not the great rhythm.

Your call brooks no dissidents
shadows that fall away from man and let themselves die on the road
a man has passed by Earth
and left his burning heart among men.
You are the image of the centuries to come
and yours is the voice of the sower
and men raise their hammers
and the hammers are left floating in the air
they raise their sickles and the sickles hang in the light
they all hear, we all hear
that beating of your heart beyond death
that beating of your heart that brings you back to us and makes you present.

You could say from death
“Stars, it was I who set men in motion.”
You are the sound of the dawn when it wakes
you are the sound of a whole working world, of a whole singing world
you are the sound of a triumphant star flying through space.

What language is that which beats against the rocks of the shore?
What fuel is that which ripples the infinite wheatfields?
What words are those that illuminate the night
and that beating beyond death?
We have collected your words
so that all can be human and true
so that man can be man
and when your voice has boomed across the world
the downcast the slaves the helots
will disappear from the deep hideaways
and men will appear in every road.
What language is this which quells hunger and extinguishes thirst?
What words are these that dress themselves in heat?

Chains go flying and man flies with them.
Dead are the last slaves, the last beggars
who held all of earth’s distances in their folded hands
and we hear that beating of your heart beyond death.
The man who makes the anvil groan
the man who makes the stone weep
the man who casts the closed seeds into the furrows
the man who raises houses
the man who builds bridges
and the one who hears the song of the birds
and the one who counts the stars sitting in the middle of the night
the man who manufactures instruments and machines
the man who changes the way of things
and the ways of the Earth
the man who kneads bread and has the smell of yeast in his gaze
the man who leads flocks from mountain to mountain
the man who guides caravans through deserts longer than his own memory.

All of them hear
that beating of your heart beyond death.
The thinking man, the singing man
the man lonely like the peal of one o’clock bell
the crowds that slowly die
all of them hear your heart beyond death
your heart ringing out within the tomb
with you death becomes greater than life
the centuries retreat from your tomb
jungles and rivers come as pilgrims
and countries kneel.
From now on, our duty is to keep you from becoming a god.