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Parent Issue
Day
8
Month
November
Year
1974
OCR Text

lncitement to Nixonkide and Praise for the Chilean Revolution, by Pablo Neruda, translated by Steve Kowit, Quixote On December 10,1971, Pablo Neruda, a Chilean poet, received the Nobel Prize for Literature. A communist and activist most of his life, Neruda did not separate his politics from his art. He was a close personal friend of Salvadore Allende before the Chilean coup, and served as ambassador to France under Allende's leadership. Neruda died twelve days after Allende onjSeptember 23, 1973. Althoueh suffering from cáncer, his death so soon after the coup raised suspicions about the actual cause. Nothing was ever prove d, but many people believe right-wing leaders of the coup planned the popular poet's murder to end his politica! art. The following poems are from the final book of Pablo Neruda, Inci temen t to Nixonicide and Praise for the Chilean Revolution, translated by Steve Kowít. Written before the coup, the poems ■ speak proudlyof the accomplishinents of the Chilean people ín setting up a revolutionary government, and deal harshly with the NixonAmerican attempts to undetmine it. Of Nixon, Neruda says in his introduction, "Nixon accumulates the :rimes of those who preceded him in treachery . . . Only the poets are :apable of putting him against the wall and riddiing him with the most deadly tercets. It is the task of poetry to convert him, by the firepower of rhythm and rhyme, into an impresentable dishrag." III Punishment Song We 're not about to count on his repen tance or wait for divine retribution: he who brought this torment to the earth willfind his judgement here, verdict and sentence. Not execution for the sake ofvengeance but for peace and hope: the themes that have inspired me to sing. Our'love is all encompassing. But that voracious bug won 't suicide, he 'II coil, spitting out kis deadly sting, and so in my insecticidal song, washingmy inkstand in thedawn, ,1've urged upan all men extermination of that sly and bloody cutthroat Icing whose mandate, carried out by air and sea is that whole populations die, towns ofcharity and wisdom across the sea in Vietnam in distant huts, close beside their rice, on streets now empty of white bicycles and gaiety: towns that Nixon, that illiterate, doesn 't even know the names of yet has murdered, dropping bombs on unoffending animáis and farms. (Tliis poem is written about the crippling strikes, particularly the long trucker's strike, engineered by the U.S. to ruin trust in the Allende government by the Chilean people.) XXXVI Passional Strike Behind the switchblades and felonious entanglements of!, T. T. sprout thieves and other members of the oligarchy's tripe: phony vanguard uniom, doctors of clandestine operations, fast-buck truckers, sharp attomeys taking lessons in depravity front ladies of the night. (The oligarchsfor iheir part want, circling their patrician fcetl. the middle class, the well-heeled bourgeoisie. ) While National Party pup pets ring in the Bosses' strike. They hope to see us starre: Nixon pulls the strings. Nothing draws them so togethcr as the sight of others' hunger. Fuentealba 's in their corner, they use liis knife organizing tenor for I. T. T. operating a black rnarket dirty as their other crimes against the state closing ranks behind the striking playboys, strike of the mule, of the smug, the fatcat parvenú and wealthy bankers well connected to the Central Banks, while pasty idiots and owners hide as hostages sardines and onions, oils, flour, beans, cigarettes, so that the people of the nation suffer, having nothing, neither light nor bread. (a militant right-wing leader) . Wtth this issue, the SUN begins a regular book review column. We will be looking mostly at new releases on a wide range of subjects. We are looking for people interested in writing book reviews, particularly anyone with expertise in some field. Reviewers can get free books for their work. If you are interested, cali EKen at the SUN office, 761-7148. If you have suggestions for books you would like to see reviewed, let us know. We will try to do books which can be obtained in local stores, but some, like the Neruda book are done by small publishers without a large distribution system for getting the book out. Whenevêr this is the case, we will let you know how you can get it. If there is enough pressure put on local stores, they will get books put out by small companies that Ann Arbor residents want to read.