A Funny Poem About the Pope

poetry

 

If you read poetry, you probably know who Neruda is. However, there is a Chilean poet called Nicanor Parra who might be better.

He is Neruda’s near-contemporary and is still living, aged 100. Parra said of Neruda: “let the birds sing, man talks.”

Because I just encountered Parra’s “anti-poetry” and am in open-mouthed awe, I will be featuring his work for the next few weeks. Below is a poem about the pope that I liked for its humor, but also because it treats its subject with grace.

 

The Poems of the Pope

 

I

They just elected me Pope:

I’m the most famous man in the world!

 

II

Now I’m at the top of the ecclesiastical profession

and I can die in peace

 

III

The Cardinals are angry

because I don’t treat them like I used to

too solemn?

but I’m the Pope goddamm it…

 

IV

First thing tomorrow

I’ll move into the Vatican

 

V

The title of my address:

How to Succeed in the Ecclesiastical Profession

 

VI

Congratulations are pouring in

every newspaper in the world

has my picture on the front page

 

and one thing’s for sure:

I look much younger than I really am

 

VII

Ever since I was a boy

I wanted to be Pope

why’s everybody so surprised

I worked like a dog

to get what I wanted

 

VIII

Holy Mother of God

I forgot to bless the multitude!

 

Translated from the Spanish by Edith Grossman 

 

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