Ah de la vida!…Nadie me responde?

In contrast to du Bellay’s sonnet on the satisfactions of old age, posted on this site yesterday, here is the other side of the coin from Quevedo, reflecting on the miseries of old age after a wasted life. Glass half full, glass half empty, you take your choice…

 
Ah de la vida…

Francisco de Quevedo

“¡Ah de la vida!”… ¿Nadie me responde?
¡Aquí de los antaños que he vivido!
La Fortuna mis tiempos ha mordido;
las Horas mi locura las esconde.

¡Que sin poder saber cómo ni a dónde
la salud y la edad se hayan huido!
Falta la vida, asiste lo vivido,
y no hay calamidad que no me ronde.

Ayer se fue; mañana no ha llegado;
hoy se está yendo sin parar un punto:
soy un fue, y un será, y un es cansado.

En el hoy y mañana y ayer, junto
pañales y mortaja, y he quedado
presentes sucesiones de difunto.

From <http://www.ciudadseva.com/textos/poesia/esp/quevedo/ah_de_la_vida.htm&gt;

The poem is a succession of lamentations on life having eaten up the poet and spat him out, leaving him wondering where his time has gone, and surrounded by calamity and misfortune. The third stanza in its elegant gloominess and despair could be right out of a Samuel Beckett play (if Beckett had written in Spanish). The line “soy un fue, y un sera, y un es cansado” is a wonderful expression of ultimate world-weariness. Only death is the way out, as Quevedo concludes in the final line.

The Poetry Dude

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