A Necessary Song – Vicente Feliu

(To Che, not in memoriam)

Your skin linked to the bone was lost in the earth.
The tear, the poem and the memory
are carving on the fire the song of death
with golden machine-guns from wherever you are.
And here, each night your books are searched
for the just motive of all action
and your memory opens up to all who are born again
but there is always someone who raises you upon a shrine
and creates a legend of your formative image
and makes impossible the dream of reaching you
and learns some of your phrases by heart
to say “I shall be like him” without knowing you
and proclaims them without love, without the dream
without love, without faith
and your words lose a sense of respect
to the man who is born covered by your splendour.
Some poet said, and this will be fairest:
From this day our duty is to defend you from being god.

Callejas, 1968 (the line in italics is Vicente Huidobro’s, from the poem Elegy to Lenin)

excerpted from Che in Verse

Che in Verse contains 134 poems and songs from 53 countries dedicated to, about, or referring to this martyr of the utopian left. The contributors range from Che’s fellow revolutionaries and anti-colonial freedom-fighters to a gay rights activist, a Cistercian monk, and a Cuban prisoner of conscience languishing in a US federal penitentiary.

~ by Tichaona Chinyelu on January 22, 2012.

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