Jorge de Lima: The Words Will Resurrect

The Words Will Resurrect

The words have grown old inside men
And separated into islands,
The words have mummified in the mouths of legislators;
The words have rotted in the promises of tyrants;
The words mean nothing in the speeches of politicians.
And the Word of God is one despite the sacrilege
                                                                         of the men of Babel,
Despite the sacrilege of the men of today.
And can it be that the immortal word will sicken?
And can it be that the great Semitic word will disappear?
And can it be that the poet was not designated to give
                                                                              the word new life?
To pick it from the surface of the waters and offer it
                                                 again to the men of the continent?
And was he not appointed to restore its essence,
                                           and to reconstitute its magic content?
Does the poet not see the communion of languages,
When men will reconquer the attributes lost with The Fall,
And when the nations founded after Babel will be destroyed?
When all the confusion is undone,
Will the poet not speak from wherever he is,
To all the men on earth, in one single language—
                                                              the language of the Spirit?
But should you live sunk in time and in space,
You will not understand me, brother!

Translated by John Nist

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