Vivir es caminar breve jornada,

Here is a poem from Quevedo meditating on the brevity of life and the inevitability of death – a memento mori, for the moral instruction of his readers. Life is but a brief day’s journey, indeed, you xan find this idea in many poems, and paintings, so here is Quevedo’s version.

 
Vivir es caminar breve jornada
Francisco de Quevedo

Vivir es caminar breve jornada,
y muerte viva es, Lico, nuestra vida,
ayer al frágil cuerpo amanecida,
cada instante en el cuerpo sepultada.

Nada, que siendo, es poco, y será nada
en poco tiempo, que ambiciosa olvida;
pues de la vanidad mal persuadida,
anhela duración, tierra animada.

Llevada de engañoso pensamiento,
y de esperanza burladora y ciega,
tropezará en el mismo monumento.

Como el que divertido el mar navega,
y sin moverse vuela con el viento,
y antes que piense en acercarse, llega.

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

It is a sonnet, and all is summed up in the first line, with the subsequent sections of the poem reinforcing the main point. We see the rapid passage from birth to the grave; we see the illusions of the ambitious and vain who crave longevity, forgetting their mortality. We see people travelling by sea who arrive at their destination before they realise it. Death will come quickly for all, and then the cycle will begin again.

The Poetry Dude

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