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It hails so much, as if to make me recall
and increase the pearls
that I've gathered from the very snout
of every storm.

May this rain not dry up.
Unless I am permitted
to fall now for it, or unless they bury me
drenched in the water
that would surge from all fires.

This rain, how far will it reach me?
I'm afraid I'm left with one flank dry;
afraid that it's ending, without having tested me
in droughts of incredible vocal cords,
by which,
to create harmony,
one must always rise--never descend!
Don't we rise in fact downward?

Sing, rain, on the coast still without sea!


César Vallejo
Translated by Michael Smith and Valentino Gianuzzi

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