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The Stranger (La Extranjera)

Gabriela Mistral 1889 (Vicuña) – 1957 (Hempstead)



She speaks in her way of her savage seas
With unknown algae and unknown sands;
She prays to a formless, weightless God,
Aged, as if dying.
In our garden now so strange,
She has planted cactus and alien grass.
The desert zephyr fills her with its breath
And she has loved with a fierce, white passion
She never speaks of, for if she were to tell
It would be like the face of unknown stars.
Among us she may live for eighty years,
Yet always as if newly come,
Speaking a tongue that plants and whines
Only by tiny creatures understood.
And she will die here in our midst
One night of utmost suffering,
With only her fate as a pillow,
And death, silent and strang.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

38 sec read
125

Quick analysis:

Scheme ABCDEFGHIJKLMNODPQ
Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 652
Words 128
Stanzas 1
Stanza Lengths 18

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…

All Gabriela Mistral poems | Gabriela Mistral Books

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    "The Stranger (La Extranjera)" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 27 Jan. 2023. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/14517/the-stranger-%28la-extranjera%29>.

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