United Fruit Co. de Pablo Neruda [English translation]

United Fruit Co.   [please google for original in Spanish if you need it]

When the trumpet sounded,
all was prepared in the land
and Jehovah parceled the land
to Coca-Cola, Anaconda,
Ford Motors, and other entities:
the United Fruit Co.
reserved for itself the juiciest,
the central coast of my land,
the sweet waist of America.

It baptized anew these lands
as “Banana Republics,”
and over the sleeping dead,
over the restless heroes
who conquered the grandeur,
the freedom and the flags,
it established the opera buffa* [Italian comic opera]
it drove all free will insane,
gifted crowns of Caesar,
unsheathed envy, attracted
the dictatorship of flies,
Trujillos flies, Tachos flies,
Carías flies, Martínez flies,
Ubico flies, flies moistened
of humble blood and marmalade,
drunken flies that zoom
over the common graves,
circus flies, wise flies
learned in tyranny.

Among the bloody flies
the Fruit Co. disembarks,
destroying the coffee and the fruits,
in their ships that slide
like trays the treasure
of our submerged lands.

Meanwhile, through the sugary abysses
of the ports,
fell Indians buried
in the mist of the morning:
a corpse tumbles, a thing
without name, a fallen number,
a bunch of dead fruit
spilt onto the compost heap.



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