Song of Death

Gabriela Mistral 1889 (Vicuña) – 1957 (Hempstead)



Old Woman Census-taker,
Death the Trickster,
when you're going along,
don't you meet my baby.

Sniffing at newborns,
smelling for the milk,
find salt, find cornmeal,
don't find my milk.

Anti-Mother of the world,
People-Collector -
on the beaches and byways,
don't meet that child.

The name he was baptized,
that flower he grows with,
forget it, Rememberer.
Lose it, Death.

Let wind and salt and sand
drive you crazy, mix you up
so you can't tell
East from West,

or mother from child,
like fish in the sea.
And on the day, at the hour,
find only me.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on April 26, 2023

31 sec read
172

Quick analysis:

Scheme AAXB XCXC XAXD XXAX XXXX DBAB
Closest metre Iambic trimeter
Characters 532
Words 101
Stanzas 6
Stanza Lengths 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4

Gabriela Mistral

Gabriela Mistral was the pseudonym of Lucila Godoy Alcayaga, a Chilean poet-diplomat, educator and feminist who was the first Latin American to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, in 1945. more…

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