Herald of the Andes

A Peruvian co-worker turned me on to José Santos Chocano (1875-1934).
He was roughly of the same period as Rubén Darío. I want to read more of his stuff.
The title makes sense as a cognate when you think of the English verb “emblazon” meaning:

        • to conspicuously display a design on something
        • to depict a heraldic device.

 

Blazón

Soy el cantor de América autóctono y salvaje:Capac Inca
mi lira tiene un alma, mi canto un ideal.

Mi verso no se mece colgado de un ramaje
con vaivén pausado de hamaca tropical…

Cuando me siento inca, le rindo vasallaje al Sol, 
que me da el cetro de su poder real;
cuando me siento hispano y evoco el coloniaje
parecen mis estrofas trompetas de cristal.

Mi fantasía viene de un abolengo moro:ESP heraldry
los Andes son de plata, pero el león, de oro,
y las dos castas fundo con épico fragor.

La sangre es española e incaico es el latido;
y de no ser Poeta, quizá yo hubiera sido
un blanco aventurero o un indio emperador.


Coat of Arms

 I am the untamed voice of native America:
my lyre has a soul, my song an ideal.
 My verse is not cradled and hung in the foliage
with the paused to-and-fro of a tropical hammock…
 When I’m feeling Inca, I pledge my vassalage to the Sun,
who offers the scepter of his royal power;
 when I feel Hispanic and evoke colonial slavery
my verses sound like crystal trumpets.
My fantasy hails from Moorish lineage:
the Andes are of silver, but the Lion – of gold,
and the two are alloyed with an epic roar.
The blood is Spanish and the pulse is Inca;
and if not a Poet, I might well have been
A white adventurer or an Indian emperor.
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