gracias a la vida
 
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Gracias a La Vida (Thank you to Life)

poem by Violeta Parra
English translation by William Morín

ioleta Parra
Gracias a la vida, que me ha dado tanto. Thank you to life, which has given me so much.
Me dió dos luceros, que cuando los abro. It gave me two beams of light, that when opened,
Perfecto distingo lo negro del blanco Can perfectly distinguish black from white
Y en el alto cielo su fondo estrellado, And in the sky above, her starry backdrop,
Y en las multitudes And from within the multitude
 el hombre que yo amo. The one that I love.
Gracias a la vida, que me ha dado tanto. Thank you to life, which has given me so much.
Me ha dado el oído que en todo su ancho It gave me an ear that, in all of its width
Graba noche y día grillos y canarios Records— night and day—crickets and canaries,
Martillos, turbinas, ladrillos, chubascos Hammers and turbines and bricks and storms,
Y la voz tan tierna de mi bien amado. And the tender voice of my beloved.
Gracias a la vida, que me ha dado tanto. Thank you to life, which has given me so much.
Me ha dado el sonido y el abecedario. It gave me sound and the alphabet.
Con él las palabras que pienso y declaro, With them the words that I think and declare:
“Madre,” “amigo,”hermano,” y luz alumbrando “Mother,” “Friend,” “Brother” and the light shining.
La ruta del alma del que estoy amando. The route of the soul from which comes love.
Gracias a la vida, que me ha dado tanto. Thank you to life, which has given me so much.
Me ha dado la marcha de mis pies cansados. It gave me the ability to walk with my tired feet.
Con ellos anduve ciudades y charcos, With them I have traversed cities and puddles
Valles y desiertos, montañas y llanos, Valleys and deserts, mountains and plains.
Y la casa tuya, tu calle y tu patio. And your house, your street and your patio.
Gracias a la vida, que me ha dado tanto. Thank you to life, which has given me so much.
Me dió el corazón, que agita su marco. It gave me a heart, that causes my frame to shudder,
Cuando miro el fruto del cerebro humano, When I see the fruit of the human brain,
Cuando miro al bueno tan lejos del malo. When I see good so far from bad,
Cuando miro el fondo de tus ojos claros. When I see within the clarity of your eyes…
Gracias a la vida, que me ha dado tanto. Thank you to life, which has given me so much.
Me ha dado la risa, me ha dado el llanto. It gave me laughter and it gave me longing.
Así yo distingo dicha de quebranto, With them I distinguish happiness and pain—
Los dos materiales que forman mi canto, The two materials from which my songs are formed,
Y el canto de ustedes que es el mismo canto. And your song, as well, which is the same song.
Y el canto de todos que es mi propio canto And everyone’s song, which is my very song.

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