Friday, September 11, 2009


Written in a concentration camp, memorized, and smuggled out by other political prisoners by Chilean poet Victor Jara shortly before he was murdered on September 17, 1973.

We are five thousand
Confined in this little part of town
We are five thousand
How many of us are there throughout the country?

Such a large portion of humanity
With hunger, cold, horror and pain
Six among us have already been lost
And have joined the stars in the sky.

One killed, another beaten
As I never imagined a human being
could be beaten
The other four just wanted to put an end
To their fears

One by jumping down to his death
The other smashing his head against a wall
But all of them
Looking straight into the eyes of death.

We are ten thousand hands
That can no longer work
How many of us are there
Throughout the country?

The blood shed by our comrade President
Has more power than bombs and machine guns
With that same strength our collective fist
Will strike again some day.

Song, How imperfect you are!
When I most need to sing, I cannot
I cannot because I am still alive
I cannot because I am dying

It terrifies me to find myself
Lost in infinite moments
On which silence and shouts
Are the objectives of my song

What I now see, I have never seen
What I feel and what I have felt
Will make the moment spring again.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this. Victor Jara and Federico Garcia Lorca are inspirations. Their work sings through the ages.

Hansi Muhlmann said...

Cudos for bringing homage to a great man but your translation does not make this epic work of art come to its right. Best read in spanish but at least find a proper translation.

Anonymous said...

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