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Sunday, September 07, 2014

Chilean poet Nicanor Parra turns 100























In this photo released by Chile's Presidential Press Office, Chilean poet poet Nicanor Parra, left, sits with Chile's President Michelle Bachelet at his home, one day before his 100th birthday, in Las Cruces, Chile, Thursday, Sept. 4, 2014. 

In 2011, Parra won the Spanish-speaking world's highest literary honor, the Cervantes Prize, for his influential work mixing everyday slang with traditional verse. (AP Photo/Chile Presidential Press Office)
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SANTIAGO (AP) - Chile is celebrating the 100th birthday of poet Nicanor Parra with ceremonies nationwide.
Friday s activities range from public readings to book fairs and art exhibits honoring the poet, essayist and physics graduate.
In 2011, Parra won the Cervantes Prize. The Spanish-speaking world s highest literary honor was awarded for his influential work mixing everyday slang with traditional verse.
Parra published his first book of poetry in 1937. He eventually adopted a style introducing colloquial language into traditional poetry that he called "anti-poetry."
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I TAKE BACK EVERYTHING I'VE SAID 

Before I go
I’m supposed to get a last wish:
Generous reader
burn this book
It’s not at all what I wanted to say
Though it was written in blood
It’s not what I wanted to say.
No lot could be sadder than mine
I was defeated by my own shadow:
My words took vengeance on me.
Forgive me, reader, good reader
If I cannot leave you
With a warm embrace, I leave you
With a forced and sad smile.
Maybe that’s all I am
But listen to my last word:
I take back everything I’ve said.
With the greatest bitterness in the world
I take back everything I’ve said.


— translated by Miller Williams 

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