Contrarieties

Poem by Cesario Verde
Today I'm cruel, frenetic, demanding;
I can not even tolerate the most bizarre books.
Incredible! I've already smoked three packets of cigarettes
Consecutively.
My head aches. I hide some mute, desperate feelings:
So much depravation in the uses, in the habits!
I love, senselessly, the acids, the cutting edges
And the acute angles.

I did sit down at the desk. There, opposite, lives
A miserable woman, no breast, both lungs are ill;
Suffers from breathlessness, her relatives died
And she irons for ladies.

Poor white skeleton among the snowy clothes!
So livid! The doctor left her. She mortifies herself.
Working always! And she's in debt with the chemist!
Her wage just enough for soup...

The obstacle stimulates, makes us perverse;
Now I feel myself full of cold rage,
Because a newspaper rejected, some days ago,
My story of verses.

What a bad humour! I did tear apart a dead epopee
In the bottom of the drawer. What does study produce?
Another writing, of those that praises everything,
Has closed the door on me.

The critic, according to the method of Taine,
They ignore it. I've gathered in an enormous fire
Lot's of original papers. The Press
Is worth a solemn disdain.

With rare exceptions, they deserve the epigram.
Mid-night has sounded; and the peace along and down the pavement,
A "sol-e-do". It lightly rains. The mundane people
Enjoys itself in the mud.

I have never dedicated poems to fortunes,
But yes, in consideration to friends or to artists.
Independent! Only for this the journalists
Refuse my articles.

They fear the naïve subscriber will leave them,
If they publish such things, such authors.
Art? It's not convenient for them, for their readers
Are delirious for Zaccone.

Any prose writer profits from honourable fame,
Obtains money, makes his "coterie";
And I, there is no matter that annoys me the most
But writing in prose.

Adulation is repelled by finer sentiments;
I rarely speak to our literate,
I try my best to throw original and exact,
My Alexandrines...

And the T.B.? Enclosed, and with the iron mark sparkling!
It ignores that the asphyxia, due to the combustion of the blazes,
Does not get away from the hanging clothes that humidify the houses,
And gives itself to contempt!

She survives with tea and bread! Better to enter the pit.
She fades away; and however, in the afternoon, frankly,
I hear her singing a plangent song
From a new operetta!

Perfectly. I'll end without bitterness.
Who knows if afterwards, I rich and in other climates,
Will be able to read those old rimes,
Printed in a volume?

In the arts I know a field of manoeuvres;
One uses the "réclame", the dirty gossip, the advertisement, the "blague",
And this poetry asks for an editor that pays for
All my works...

And I'm better; the cholera is gone. And the neighbour?
The ironing woman is she going to bed without supper?
I see the light in her room. She's still working. She's ugly...
What a world! Poor thing!
(Contributed by Jery on Friday, March 18th, 2011)
 
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