El paria / José Antonio Ramos Sucre

The Pariah

     To Caracas, reduced almost to a disgraceful mendacity he comes from very far away, the separation from his own people afflicts him with unexpressed shame, because the ordinary expression of pain isn’t worthy of severe souls, it frightens him from the memory of home fulminated by destiny, he is retained by a generous idea: the good of humanity, of the fatherland, maybe the justice to which he promised to be a husband like the saint of Assisi to poverty.
     He is roused and maintained constant in his goal by the spectacle of victorious brutality, of beauty reduced to a scouring pad, of the hidden or negated merit; he suffers and thinks with his soul placed in the reparation that will come and insulting the triumph of force he doesn’t justify not even in nature.
     Like the Greek philosopher finds the man who solicits among the humble and never was he tortured more by disillusionment than when he saw everything stained black and with miserable and treacherous clarity spread around when he believed fire of ingenuity.
     He doesn’t listen to those who advise abdication with the word and the example; the dreams of his youth are wiser and keep his soul sick, a moment that will know how to consecrate them with brutal reality harder than a flag of insult or a life from the jaws of a wild beast.
     Incurable dreamer, reality gives you rude alerts in vain, your spirit responds very little to the impression of exterior life like a sea dead from cold that ceases to accompany with its rumors those of the air trembling from gusts of ice and mourning. He suffers poverty with decorum when inside him uncontrollable and never satisfied desires stand twisted and violent like asps, and the very deep and very black future approaches a danger.

Originally published in the magazine Cultura in Caracas, 5 October 1912.

{ José Antonio Ramos Sucre, Obra completa, Caracas: Biblioteca Ayacucho, 1989 }

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