against the great defeat of the world
We’re going to begin the fight again / the enemy
is clear and we’re going to begin again /
we’re going to correct the errors of the soul /
its pain / its disastes / so many little friends
wasted / little sons wasted / we’re going
to begin / day has come
with its documentation
of death / night with its documents /
death itself has come with its documentation /
we’re going to take up again
the struggle / again we’re going to begin
again we’re going to begin all of us
against the great defeat of the world /
little compañeros who never end / or
who burn like fire in the memory
again / and again / and again
Transcribed from Unthinkable Tenderness: Selected Poems By Juan Gelman
Edited and Translated by Joan Lindgren. University of California Press, 1997.
First realized via the essay “Against the Great Defeat of the World” by John Berger in Chapter 22 of The Shape of A Pocket. Pantheon, 2001.
Excerpt from Against the Great Defeat of the World:
The culture in which we live is perhaps the most claustrophobic that has ever existed; in the culture of globalisation, as in Bosch’s hell, there is no glimpse of an elsewhere or an otherwise. The given is a prison. And faced with such reductionism, human intelligence is reduced to greed.