Friday, November 30, 2007

God Wills It - by Gabriella Mistral

My very favorite poem in the world - I was turned on to Gabriella Mistral in the mid 70s while I was a student in a class called "Women in Literature." Hers was the only book I ever stole from a library - it was out of print at the time and you could not buy it. I recently found a book containing that poem at City Lights so I returned the aforementioned book to the school (some 30 odd years later) although I did prefer the school's version - it had the poem both translated into English and in the original language. Anyway, this was not only my favorite poem, it became my favorite curse. Gabriella Mistral, my idol. In case you have never heard of her, Ms. Mistral was from Chile and won a Nobel Prize.

God Wills It

by Gabriela Mistral

The very earth will disown you
If your soul barter my soul;
In angry tribulation
The waters will tremble and rise.
My world became more beautiful
Since the day you took me to you,
When, under the flowering thorn tree
Together we stood without words,
And love, like the heavy fragrance
Of the flowering thorn tree, pierced us.

The earth will vomit forth snakes
If you ever barter my soul.
Barren of your child, and empty
I rock my desolate knees.
Christ in my breast will be crushed,
and the charitable door of my house
Will break the wrist of the beggar,
And repulse the woman in sorrow.

The kiss your mouth gives another
Will echo within my ear,
As the deep surrounding caverns
Bring back your words to me.
Even the dust of the highway
Keeps the scent of your footprints.
I track them, and like a deer
Follow you into the mountains.

Clouds will paint over my dwelling
The image of your new love.
Go to her like a thief, crawling
In the boweled earth to kiss her.
When you lift her face you will find
My face disfigured with weeping.

God will not give you the light
Unless you walk by my side.
God will not let you drink
If I do not tremble in the water.
He will not let you sleep
Except in the hollow of my hair.

If you go, you will destroy my soul
As you trample the weeds by the roadside.
Hunger and thirst will gnaw you,
Crossing the heights or the plains;
And wherever you are, you will watch
The evenings bleed with my wounds.
When you call another woman
I will issue forth on your tongue,
Even as a taste of salt
Deep in the roots of your throat.
In hating, or singing, in yearning
It is me alone you summon.

If you go, and die far from me
Ten years your hand will be waiting
Hollowed under the earth
To gather the drip of my tears.
And you will feel the trembling
Of your corrupted flesh,
Until my bones are powdered
Into the dust on your face.


DebGrabien said...


I'd nearly forgot how beautiful that poem is. It hurts like small stones against the skin.

Dar said...

Now THERE is the essence of a woman scorned.