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No me preguntes como pasa el tiempo by Jose Emilio Pacheco

August 23, 1987

En el polvo del mundo se pierden ya mis huellas;

me alejo sin cesar.

No me preguntes como pasa el tiempo.

Liu Kiu Ling

A nuestra antigua casa llega el invierno

y cruzan por el aire las bandadas que emigran.

Luego renacera la primavera,

reviviran las flores que sembraste.

Pero nosotros

ya nunca mas veremos

ese dulce paraje que fue nuestro.

Don't ask me how the time goes by by Jose Emilio Pacheco

My footsteps are lost in the dust of the world;

ceaselessly I move on my way.

Don't ask me how the time goes by.

Liu Kiu Ling

Winter comes to our old house

and flocks of migrating birds move across the air.

Later, spring will be born again,

the flowers you sowed there will come to life.

But we,

we shall never know again

that sweet repose which was ours together.

From "Selected Poems,"edited by George McWhirter (New Directions: $23.95; 208 pp.). This is a bilingual edition of work by one of Mexico's foremost poets. Born in 1939, Pacheco has published seven volumes of poetry, winning his country's National Poetry Prize with a collection for which the poem above was the title poem. Several translators besides McWhirter have contributed to this edition; the translation above is by Alastair Reid. 1980, Fondo de Cultura Economica and 1978, Columbia University Press, by permission of New Directions Press.

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