Lovely tribute to a mother by a gifted Chilean poet

by | May 8, 2020 | Announcements and Events, Poetry and Music

One of the most beautiful tributes to mothers I have come across is a poem by Chilean poet Gabriela Mistral (1889—1957). It is entitled ‘Caricia’ (meaning “Caress” in English). The short poem has a power of emotion that shines through Mistral’s simple, down-to-earth language. The last line makes a reference to the sea, which makes this a wonderful Mother’s Day read for those who miss the sand and salt water.

Caricia

por Gabriela Mistral

Madre, madre, tú me besas,
pero yo te beso más,
y el enjambre de mis besos
no te deja ni mirar…

Si la abeja se entra al lirio,
no se siente su aletear.
Cuando escondes a tu hijito
ni se le oye respirar…

Yo te miro, yo te miro
sin cansarme de mirar,
y qué lindo niño veo
a tus ojos asomar…

El estanque copia todo
lo que tú mirando estás;
pero tú en las niñas tienes
a tu hijo y nada más.

Los ojitos que me diste
me los tengo de gastar
en seguirte por los valles,
por el cielo y por el mar…

Caricia

by Gabriela Mistral

Mother, mother, you kiss me
but I kiss you more
and the swarm of my kisses
does not let you even look …

If the bee enters the lily,
you don’t feel her fluttering.
When you hide your little boy
you can’t even hear him breathe…

I look at you, I look at you
without getting tired of looking,
and what a beautiful boy I see
to your eyes appear…

The pond copies everything
what you are looking at;
but you have girls
your son and nothing else.

The little eyes you gave me
I have to spend them
to follow you by the valleys,
by the sky and by the sea…


Like all Spanish poems, Caricia is best read and listened to in Spanish. Enjoy its original beauty and flavour in this video with a modern-day setting:

~ Barista Uno

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