Poems by Vicente Huidobro

Translated by Johannes Beilharz 



You hear the night glide across the snow

The song fell down from the trees
And through the fog sounded voices

I lit my cigar at a glance

Every time I open my lips
I flood the void with clouds

                                    In the harbor
The masts are full of nests.

And the wind
                       groans in the birds' wings


Whistling on the shore I
          Look at the star that glows between my fingers




                                    Sun about to die

The car broken down

And a smell of spring
Remains as the air sweeps by

                                                                 a song

                    WHERE ARE YOU

One afternoon much like this
                                                   I looked for you in vain

In the fog covering the roads
I kept finding myself

And in the smoke of my cigar
A lost bird

Nobody answered

                                 The last pastors drowned

And the stray sheep
Ate flowers and did not give honey

The wind that went by
Piles up their wool

                                                Between the clouds
                                                Holding my tears

Why cry once more
                                   about what I've cried already

And since the sheep eat flowers
Sign that you went by




A small town
A train stopped on the plain

Deaf stars sleep
                              in every puddle
And the water trembles
Curtains to the wind

                   Night hangs in the grove

A lively drizzle
From the flower-covered steeple
                          Bleeds the stars

         Now and then
         Ripe hours

                   Drop on life



Statements by Huidobro, the father of 'creationism', on poetry

Nothing anecdotic or descriptive. The emotion has to be born out of creativity only.

Make a poem as nature makes a tree.

One must create. This is the sign of our time.

All three poems are from Poemas Articos, first published in Madrid in 1918. Translated from the edition published by Editorial Nascimento in Santiago de Chile in 1972, which is a reprint of the original edition with a preface by Dr. Hugo Montes from the University of Chile. Copyright of translation Johannes Beilharz 1980, 2022.

German translation | Translation index

Front cover of The Selected Poetry of Vicente Huidobro, edited with an introduction by David M. Guss, New Directions, 1981

(Note by Johannes Beilharz:
I translated these poems in the course of a project at the University of Colorado in 1980 without being aware of the impending publication of the volume whose cover is shown here. The Selected Poetry of Vicente Huidobro does not include translations of the above three poems.)