Standard Oil Co. (by Pablo Neruda, Canto General, 1940) |


When the drill bored down toward the stony fissures

and plunged its implacable intestine

into the subterranean estates,

and dead years, eyes of the ages,

imprisoned plants’ roots

and scaly systems

became strata of water,

fire shot up through the tubes

transformed into cold liquid,

in the customs house of the heights,

issuing from its world of sinister depth,

it encountered a pale engineer

and a title deed.

However entangled the petroleum’s arteries may be,

however the layers may change their silent site

and move their sovereignty amid the earth’s bowels,

when the fountain gushes its paraffin foliage,

Standard Oil arrived beforehand

with its checks and it guns,

with its governments and its prisoners.

Their obese emperors from New York

are suave smiling assassins

who buy silk, nylon, cigars

petty tyrants and dictators.

They buy countries, people, seas, police, county councils,

distant regions where the poor hoard their corn

like misers their gold:

Standard Oil awakens them,

clothes them in uniforms, designates

which brother is the enemy.

the Paraguayan fights its war,

and the Bolivian wastes away

in the jungle with its machine gun.

A President assassinated for a drop of petroleum,

a million-acre mortgage,

a swift execution on a morning mortal with light, petrified,

a new prison camp for subversives,

in Patagonia, a betrayal, scattered shots

beneath a petroliferous moon,

a subtle change of ministers

in the capital, a whisper

like an oil tide,

and zap, you’ll see

how Standard Oil’s letters shine above the clouds,

above the seas, in your home,

illuminating their dominions.

Translated by Jack Schmitt

via Standard Oil Co. (by Pablo Neruda, Canto General, 1940) | Frontlines of Revolutionary Struggle.

via Standard Oil Co. (by Pablo Neruda, Canto General, 1940) | Frontlines of Revolutionary Struggle.

About Old Boy

Love the past and the future but live in the present

Posted on March 5, 2013, in buisiness, Crime, politics, Protest, USA, Wealth and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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