Peru

Mateo Díaz Choza
Libro de la enfermedad, 2015

Monólogo de Saúl

¿Quién pulsa y tañe el río
que nace de una cuerda yerta, el dulce
almíbar derramado sobre el cuenco
de mis oídos, y la pena oculta
de mi frente? ¿Quién pasma
la lágrima en su umbral, y da reposo
al negro día y a la blanca noche?
¿Quién hace tanta bulla, tan sublime,
que el bálsamo regala del olvido
y a la madera sabe enamorar
para que diga lo que fue vedado
desde siempre a los hombres?
¿Quién es el que me engaña y no suelta
las amarras que todavía atan
la barca a la ribera,
el agua a su orilla? ¿Cuáles manos
aprehenden el silencio,
mientras trinan sobre el rumor extraño
las voces ignorantes del sosiego?
¿Quién eres que si callas
en piedra y polvo truecas la floresta,
hiel el vino, cadalso la alborada,
ahora que mi dios me ha abandonado?

Libro de la enfermedad. Paracaídas Editores, 2015, pp. 23.


Monologue of Saul

Who plucks and strums the river
that is born from a stiff cord, the sweet
syrup spilled over the hollow
of my ears, and hides sorrow
from my face? Who suprizes
the tear in its threshold and gives repose
to the day black and the night white?
Who makes such a noise, so sublime,
that gifts the balm of oblivion
and enamors the wood
so that it says what was sealed
forever to men?
Who is he that deceives me and does not
release the ties that still bind
the rowboat to the shore,
to water to its bank? What hands
seize the silence,
while trilling over the strange murmur
the ignorant voices of the serene?
Who are you that if silent
into stone and dust you change the forest,
bile the wine, gallows the dawn,
now that my God has abandoned me?


Mateo Díaz Choza (1989), is a Peruvian poet from Lima. The poem “Monólogo de Saúl” comes from his collection, Libro de Enfermedad. Díaz has been recognized for his writing with the Juegos Florales de Barranco prize in 2013. His opus also includes his collection Av. Palomo (2013). He is currently a PhD student in the Department of Hispanic Studies at Brown University, having previously received a B.A. in Peru studying Latin American Literature. His current interests include the relationship between religious discourse, utopia and fundamentalism within the Latin American narrative throughout the 20th and 21st century.

Díaz’s poem draws into the spotlight the biblical conflict between Saul and David. David, having killed Goliath is brought to King Saul, who rewards David by making him chief of his army and inviting him to stay in the royal palace. David, a skilled musician, falls into danger when Saul grows jealous if his ability to play the lire, and subsequently attempts, and fails, to kill David. The narrative voice, understood as Saul himself, speaks to David, entranced and intrigued by the sound of his music, which plays upon a series of paradoxes that demonstrate the power of music over the soul and over nature. Music can free us like a boat cast off to the sea, bring about calm, while still holding the ability to provoke sorrow or unease. Sound itself is power, the ultimate prize David holds, but Saul covets.

Prepared by Mai Hunt

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