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An Emancipation Poem

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by Oscar Allen 04.SEPT.09

Roque Dalton (1933 – 1975) entitled this poem “Solo El Inicio” – Only the Beginning. I have reworked the 1989 translation by DeFreitas and have named it “First Taste”. Roque Dalton, poet historian and fierce opponent of El Salvador’s dictatorships, gave his life tragically in that struggle. This poem has a revolutionary source.

FIRST TASTE

A woman a friend a bit of a poet
distilled thus the middle class intellectuals
cry of the soul:{{more}}

“I am contained in the bourgeoisie
and cannot escape from myself”
And the German maestro Bertolt Brecht
Communist, dramatist and poet

(In that order) his rhetoric explicit:

“What is the robbing of a bank
compared with the crime
of the founding of a bank?”
I take all this to mean
that if to disentangled herself
a middle class intellectual
robs a bank,
she will have just had
her first ever taste
of 100 years of grace

—- ——— ———-

Roque Dalton
El Salvador

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