Isaac Goldemberg

Translated by Stephen A. Sadow and Jim Kates

A wrinkle appeared on my forehead once

And I had nothing to say,

I only had the thought.

Nothing else except that.

Life went on its way.

The thought hurt and I wanted to extirpate it.

How hard it was! Harder than a change of heart.

If it is about living well, in a good neighbor, without beggars and thieves,

better the heart of Jesus than all the laws in the world, I said to myself.

I’m not yet dead, but I want to lay myself down in the deepest of holes,

with all those who have nothing to do with me.

To verify whether it’s possible to love the stranger.

No response was heard from anyone when I said that.



The following presentation is a translation of Testament into quechua, a language that originated in Peru. Thanks to Odi González for his generous work

Mat’iypi chayraq sip’u rikhurimuqtin

ch’in kani, mana imata nispa

yuyay yuyayllapi apakuni.

Chayllata rurani, mana imatapas.

Hinallapis tukuypas puririn

Yuyayniy ichaqa nanaylla nanan / chaymi

nanaqtin sik’iyta munarqani,

mana atinichu, sonqo sik’iymanta aswan sasa.

Allin tiyanapaq kaqtinqa, sumaq llaqtapi

mana suwa, mana uskakunawan ima

allinchá kanman Jesuspa sonqon

tukuy hatun kamachi hina nispa

noqallapaq nini

Manan ayaraqchu kani ichaqa;

p’onqo p’onqopi samaykuyta munayman

llapan mana reqsisqa runakunawan kuska.

Chaypi munayman yachayta

sichus sut’inta munakuyman chay

mana reqsisqa runakunata

Chayta niqtiy, mana pipas rimarinchu.


(Translation by Odi Gonzales)






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