The Last Toast

Whether we like it or not,
We have only three choices:
Yesterday, today and tomorrow.

And not even three
Because as the philosopher says
Yesterday is yesterday
It belongs to us only in memory:
From the rose already plucked
No more petals can be drawn.

The cards to play
Are only two:
The present and the future.

And there aren't even two
Because it's a known fact
The present doesn't exist
Except as it edges past
And is consumed...,
like youth.

In the end
We are only left with tomorrow.
I raise my glass
To the day that never arrives.

But that is all
we have at our disposal.

by Nicanor Parra

Other poems of PARRA (6)

Comments (6)

I like the way he starts with three and reduces it to nothing. It is like some of the Bible Proverbs which start small and add more as the author thinks on it.
So we are nothing
It was nformative and amusing. More of this.
Spanish text: __________ ÚLTIMO BRINDIS Lo queramos o no Sólo tenemos tres alternativas: El ayer, el presente y el mañana. Y ni siquiera tres Porque como dice el filósofo El ayer es ayer Nos pertenece sólo en el recuerdo: A la rosa que ya se deshojó No se le puede sacar otro pétalo. Las cartas por jugar Son solamente dos: El presente y el día de mañana. Y ni siquiera dos Porque es un hecho bien establecido Que el presente no existe Sino en la medida en que se hace pasado Y ya pasó..., como la juventud. En resumidas cuentas Sólo nos va quedando el mañana: Yo levanto mi copa Por ese día que no llega nunca Pero que es lo único De lo que realmente disponemos.
Raise my glass to the day that never arrives. How beautiful! Loved the play of words!
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