[Fwd: poem by Galeano]
mikey+ at SPAMpitt.edu
Tue Dec 21 09:28:05 MST 1999
Here is a poem for the millennium by E.Galeano.
Date: Thu, 16 Dec 1999 14:03:28 -0500 (EST)
From: "John P. Lacny" <jplst15+ at pitt.edu>
Subject: poem by Galeano
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 15 Dec 1999 22:56:14 -0800
From: Michael Eisenscher <meisenscher at igc.org>
Subject: poem by Galeano
>The new millennium is just around the corner.
>Nothing to take too seriously:
>After all, the year 2001 of the Christians
>is the year 1379 of the Muslims,
>the year 5114 of the Mayas
>and the year 5762 of the Jews.
>The new millennium is born on the 1st of January
>thanks to a whim of the senators of the Roman Empire,
>that one good day decided to break the tradition
>that called for celebrating newyears at the beginning of Spring.
>And the counting of years in the Christian era
>comes from another whim:
>One good day, the Pope in Rome decided to set a date to the birth of Jesus
>although nobody really knows when he was born.
>Time makes fun of the limits we invent for it
>so as to make us believe that it (time) obeys us.
>But the whole world celebrates and fears those limits.
>It's just an invitation: millennia come and millennia go,
>and the occasion is ripe for orators of inflamed speeches
>to tell us about the fate of humanity,
>and for doomsday preachers to announce the end of the world
>and general chaos.
>Meanwhile, time continues silently to tick towards eternity and mystery.
>The truth is that nobody can resist: on a date like this one,
>as arbitrary as it may be, we all feel the temptation
>to ask ourselves how will the time that will be be.
>And God knows how it will be.
>We have only one certainty: in the 21st century, if we are still around,
>we all will be people from last century, and worse,
>we will be people from the last millennium.
>Even if we cannot guess the time that will be,
>we do at least have the right to imagine the time we want to be.
>In 1948 and in 1976, the UN proclaimed long lists of human rights.
>But most of humanity just has the right to see, to hear. and to remain
>What about if we begin to practice the never proclaimed right to dream?
>What about if we hallucinate for a short while?
>Let's stare beyond infamy, let's guess another, possible world:
>The air will be free of all poisons that come from human fears and passions;
>on the streets, the cars will be squashed by dogs;
>people will not be driven by the automobile,
>nor will they be programmed by computers,
>nor will they be bought by supermarkets,
>nor will they be watched by television sets;
>the TV set will cease being the most important member of the family,
>and will be treated like the washing machine or the iron;
>people will work to live instead of live to work;
>penal codes will include the crime of stupidity
>that is committed by those who live to have or to earn,
>instead of living just to live,
>like the bird sings without knowing it is singing,
>and like the child plays without knowing that it plays;
>in no country will they imprison boys who refuse military service,
>but rather those who do want to serve;
>the economists will not call standard of living
>what really is standard of consumption,
>nor will they call quality of life what is quantity of things;
>the cooks will cease believing that lobsters enjoy being boiled alive;
>historians will stop believing that countries enjoy being invaded;
>politicians will stop believing that the poor enjoy eating promises;
>solemnity will cease being a virtue,
>and nobody will take seriously anybody else
>who cannot make fun of him/herself;
>death and money will lose their magic powers,
>and neither due to wealth or death alone will an SOB become virtuous and a
>nobody will be considered a hero or dumb
>for doing what he/she thinks is fair instead of doing what is most
>convenient; the world will no longer be at war against the poor, but against
>and the military industry will have no choice but to declare bankruptcy;
>food will not be a merchandise, nor communications a business,
>because food and communication are human rights;
>nobody will die of hunger, because nobody will have indigestion;
>the street children will not be treated as if they were trash,
>because there will be no street children;
>rich kids will not be treated as if they were money,
>because there will be no rich kids;
>education will not be the privilege of those who can buy it;
>police will not be the curse of those who cannot buy it;
>justice and liberty, those siamese twins condemned to live separately, will
>reunite, very closely, back to back;
>a black woman will become president of Brasil,
>and another black woman president of the US;
>an indian woman will govern Guatemala and another, Peru;
>in Argentina, the Women of the Plaza de Mayo will become examples, because
>they refused to forget in the times of compulsory amnesia;
>the Sacred Church will correct the errors in Moses' Tablets,
>and the Sixth Commandment will mandate to celebrate the body;
>the Church will also come up with another commandment
>that God had forgotten:
>You shall love nature, of which you are part;
>the deserts of the world and of the soul will be reforested;
>the desperate will be welcome and the lost will be found,
>because they are the ones who dispaired from so much waiting
>and got lost from so much searching;
>we will be contemporary neighbors
>of all those who search for justice and beauty,
>no matter where they were born, where they have lived,
>and regardless of boundaries in the maps or in time;
>perfection will continue to be the bored privilege of gods;
>but in this crazy and tough world,
>every night will be lived like it were the last
>and every day will be lived like it were the first.
>Free translation from the Spanish by Claudio Schuftan, Hanoi.
>Aviva at netnam.vn
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