Poems for staying at home (Day 12)


Micaela Chirif


Today’s poem come from the excellent Micaela Chirif, of Peru. Her theme is talking with the dead, an activity with which I identify ever more closely as the years go by. This poem can be found in The Other Tiger: Recent Poetry from Latin America.


A Friend

a friend dead for some years now
sometimes calls me on the phone
contrary to what might be expected
the conversation is normal enough:
I give him the gossip from hereabouts
he gives me the gossip there
I watch the day darkening in the window
he lazily cuts his nails
and in this way
sharing stories
we sometimes spend the entire evening

when the time comes to hang up
and it always comes
we both become very sad
and begin to weep
but for the sake
          of delicacy
each of us does this alone


Un amigo

a veces me llama por teléfono
un amigo muerto desde hace años
contrariamente a lo que podría pensarse
la conversación as bastante normal:
yo le cuento los chismes de acá
y él me cuenta los de allá
yo miro el día oscurecerse en la ventana
él se corta las uñas con pereza
y así
compartiendo historias
pasamos a veces la tarde entera

cuando llega el momento de colgar
y siempre llega
nos da entonces muchísima tristeza
y nos ponemos a llorar
pero eso sí
por delicadeza
lo hace cada uno por su cuenta


From Sobre mi almohada una cabez, Pretextos (2012).


Micaela Chirif is a Peruvian poet and children’s author. Born in Lima in 1973, Chirif’s first poetry collection, De vuelta was published by Colmillo Blanco in 2001. Following this came Cualquier cielo (Mundo Ajeno, 2008), and Sobre mi almohada una cabeza (Pre-Textos, 2012). In 2015, Galería Estampa published an illustrated selection of her poetry as part of the Biblioteca Americana. Her work in children’s literature has won her the Münich White Ravens de la Internationale Jugendbibliothek twice, for Buenas noches, Martina (2010), and Desayuno (2014). In 2019 she was awarded the Premio Hispanoamericano de Poesía para niños (Hispano-american children’s poetry prize).



3 Comments on “Poems for staying at home (Day 12)

  1. I don’t know why, but this poem is very comforting. Thank you for introducing me to Micaela.


    Sent from Mail for Windows 10


  2. Pingback: Poems for staying at home (Day 15) | Ricardo Blanco's Blog

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