The Romantic Dogs
At the time I was twenty years old
And I was crazy.
I had lost a country
But gained a dream.
And if I had that dream
The rest did not matter.
Not working, not praying
Not studying into the morning
Beside the romantic dogs.
And my dream lived in the gap of my spirit.
A wooden room,
In one of the tropical lungs.
And sometimes I turned within myself
And visited the dream: a statue eternised
Into liquid thoughts,
A white worm twisting
A runaway love.
A dream within a dream.
And the nightmare would tell me: you will grow.
You will leave behind the images of pain and the maze
And you will forget.
But at the time growing would have been a crime.
Here I am, I said, with the romantic dogsAnd here I intend to stay.
Translated into English by Jorge Salavert, 2013.
This is the poem I chose to read at the annual Dead Poets' Dinner held in Canberra. It was well received by those attending. Even if the younger Bolaño, the one who founded the Infrarrealists Group in Mexico City, would have very likely booed at every single poem that was read at the Dinner.