"Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

High Treason

I've been told that I can come across as very critical of my country. Yeah, so? Just because I live in one of the (not THE, mind you) best countries in the world in which to live it doesn't mean that I have to take what's wrong with this place sitting down, that I'm not allowed to criticize what's not working. I vote, so I feel it's my right to have a say. In fact, I think it's my duty to not just sit by complacently. At any rate, José Emilio Pacheco sums up my thoughts about Canada perfectly (even though he was writing about Mexico). I'm not sure if my translation from the Spanish is 100% perfect, but it's close enough:

High Treason

I do not love my country. Its abstract splendour
is beyond my grasp.
But (although it sounds bad) I would give my life
for ten places in it, for certain people,
seaports, pinewoods, fortresses,
a run-down city, gray, grotesque,
various figures from its history
(and three or four rivers).


1001 Petals said...

I love that poem! Thanks for sharing.

Raven said...

Isn't it lovely? I reminds me of my absolute favourite scene from 'MacGyver.' The character was a Russian in the Soviet era and had been persecuted by the government. He decided to send his daughter in exile to the States while he would stay in Russia to continue his fight to change the government.

"Government can change," he told her. "This," stomping on the ground. "Cannot. This land is a part of me. I was not made for exile."

Sums up how I feel about my country and complements the poem. :-)