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The 10 best poems by Julio Cortázar

The 10 best poems by Julio Cortázar

April 24, 2024

If we talk about Julio Cortázar, probably the majority of people who know his work will identify his name with that of one of the greatest exponents of Hispanic literature of the last century.

This Argentine writer, although of Belgian origin (although he was born in Belgium, shortly after his family was born, he would flee from World War I first to Switzerland, then to Barcelona and finally to Argentina, where he would grow up), which was also a translator and a important intellectual of his time, he will probably be more recognized for his stories and for one of his most important fictional works, Hopscotch.

Also for his concern for the Argentine military regime that existed in his time, which can be observed in some of his works. But the truth is that although the best known of him is the literary work the truth is that since adolescence this author felt a great interest in poetry, having written several works of great beauty that reflect their concerns and their feelings. That is why throughout this article we are going to expose several of the best poems by Julio Cortázar .


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10 poems by Julio Cortázar

Then we leave you with a short sample of poems by Julio Cortázar, which deal with areas as different as love, friendship, melancholy or disappointment.

1. Happy New Year

Look, I do not ask much, only your hand, to have it like a toad that sleeps so happy. I need that door that you gave me to enter your world, that little piece of green sugar, of a cheerful round. Do not you lend me your hand on this year-end night of hoarse owls? You can not, for technical reasons.

Then I stretch it in the air, weaving each finger, the silky peach of the palm and the back, that country of blue trees. So I take it and hold it, as if it depended a lot on the world, the succession of the four seasons, the song of the roosters, the love of men.


This poem speaks of the longing for the beings we love and love in special moments, such as the arrival of a new year, and with whom we can not be due to the distance that separates us. It speaks of the memory and of having the other present , fresh in your memory.

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2. After the holidays

And when everyone left and we both stayed between empty glasses and dirty ashtrays, how beautiful it was to know that you were there like a backwater, alone with me at the edge of the night, and that you lasted, you were more than time, you were the He did not leave because the same pillow and the same warmth was going to call us again to wake up to the new day, together, laughing, disheveled.

Poetry that expresses briefly the sensations produced by being alone with the beloved , to the person you trust and to whom you admire and with whom you wish to spend your days.


3. Veredas of Buenos Aires

We call the kids: "la vedera" And she liked that we wanted her, In her around we drew So many hops.

Then, more compadres, tapping We turned the apple with the bar, Whistling loudly so that the blonde From the store would come out, with her pretty braids At the window.

It took me one day to go far away But I did not forget the "vederas" But I did not forget the "vederas". Here or there, I feel them in the tamangos As the faithful caress of my land. How much I will go for "ái" until I can see them again ...!

This poetry is dedicated to the land that the author considered his own, Argentina, in which he would spend much of his childhood and to which he yearned when he left the country before the rise of the Peronist military dictatorship in Argentina between 1976 and 1983.

4. Autumn summary

In the vault of the afternoon each bird is a point of memory. It is sometimes surprising that the fervor of time comes back, without a body coming back, and for no reason comes back; that beauty, so brief in its violent love, keeps an echo in the descent of the night.

And so, what more than to be with the fallen arms, the heaped heart and that taste of dust that was pink or road. The flight exceeds the wing. Without humility, knowing that this remains was won in the shade by the work of silence; that the branch in the hand, that the dark tear is an inheritance, the man with his story, the lamp that illuminates.

On this occasion, the author gives a brief description of the sensations that the arrival of autumn and the passage of time produces, as well as the knowledge that everything will be reborn in the spring .

5. The slow heartbreak machine

The slow machine of lovelessness, the gears of reflux, the bodies that leave the pillows, the sheets, the kisses, and standing before the mirror questioning each other to themselves, no longer looking at each other, no longer naked for the other, I do not love you anymore, my love.

A very clear poetry that expresses how little by little the magic and illusion in a relationship have been lost, to the point of having disappeared the love .

6. After such pleasures

Tonight, looking for your mouth in another mouth almost believing it, because this blindness is this river that pulls me into woman and immerses me between her eyelids, what a sadness it is to swim at last towards the shore of sleep, knowing that drowsiness is that ignoble slave who accepts the fake coins, circulates them smiling.

Forgotten purity, how I would like to rescue that pain of Buenos Aires, that wait without pauses or hope. Only in my house opened on the port again begin to love you, again find yourself in the morning coffee without so much irrevocable thing had happened. And not having to settle for this forgetfulness that rises for nothing, to erase your little dolls from the blackboard and not leave me more than a window without stars.

This poem tells us about the feeling of emptiness and hopelessness , to use the passions and vices as evasion, as well as the longing for the best times after having finished a full and initially happy relationship.

7. Friends

In the tobacco, in the coffee, in the wine, at the edge of the night they rise like those voices that in the distance sing without knowing what, along the way.

Lightly brothers of fate, dioceses, pale shadows, the flies of habits frighten me, they hold me up so that I stay afloat while I swirl.

The dead speak more but in the ear, and the living are warm hands and roof, the sum of what is gained and what is lost.

So one day in the boat of the shadow, of so much absence will my breast warm this ancient tenderness that names them.

One of Julio Cortázar's poems dedicated to friendship, to the memory of those friends that we cared about and with whom we share part of our life.

8. Night

I have black hands tonight, my heart sweaty as after fighting to oblivion with the centipedes of smoke.

Everything has been there, the bottles, the ship, I do not know if they loved me and if they expected to see me.

In the diary lying on the bed he says diplomatic encounters, an exploratory bloodletting, beat him cheerfully in four sets.

A very high forest surrounds this house in the center of the city, I know, I feel that a blind man is dying nearby.

My wife climbs up and down a small ladder like a ship captain who mistrusts the stars.

There's a cup of milk, papers, eleven o'clock at night. Outside, it seems as if crowds of horses are approaching the window behind me.

Sad poem that expresses the suffering and the longing for what was left behind, probably derived from the sensations that the author had when leaving Argentina.

9. Recurring ceremony

The totemic animal with its fingernails of light, the eyes that gather the darkness under the bed, the mysterious rhythm of your breathing, the shadow that your sweat draws on the smell, the imminent day.

Then I straighten up, still beaten by the waters of sleep, I return from a half-blind continent where you were also but you were another, and when I consult you with my mouth and fingers, I walk the horizon of your flanks (sweetly you get angry, you want keep sleeping, you tell me you are gross and silly, you debate laughing, you do not let yourself be taken but it's already late, a fire of skin and jet, the figures of the dream) the totemic animal at the foot of the bonfire with its fingernails of light and his wings of musk.

And then we wake up and it's Sunday and February.

This poem expresses the embrace and subsequent relationship under the sheets of a sleepy couple, after waking up .

10. I touch your mouth

I touch your mouth, with one finger I touch the edge of your mouth, I draw it as if it came out of my hand, as if for the first time your mouth was parted, and it is enough for me to close my eyes to undo everything and start again, I make each time the mouth that I want, the mouth that my hand chooses and draws you in the face, a mouth chosen among all, with sovereign freedom chosen by me to draw it with my hand on your face, and that by a chance I do not seek to understand exactly matches your mouth that smiles below which my hand draws you.

You look at me, up close you look at me, more and more closely and then we play the cyclops, we look closer and closer and our eyes get bigger, they approach each other, they overlap and the cyclops look at each other, breathing confused, the mouths they meet and fight warmly, biting with their lips, barely resting their tongues on their teeth, playing in their enclosures where a heavy air comes and goes with an old perfume and silence.

Then my hands seek to sink into your hair, slowly caress the depth of your hair while we kiss as if we had a mouth full of flowers or fish, live movements, dark fragrance. And if we bite the pain is sweet, and if we drown in a brief and terrible simultaneous absorb the breath, that instant death is beautiful. And there is only one saliva and a single ripe fruit flavor, and I feel you tremble against me like a moon in the water.

This beautiful love poem tells us the sensations that a situation of intimacy and love produces and the sensations that wake us up looking at each other and kissing with the beloved person.


House Taken Over by Julio Cortazar read by A Poetry Channel (April 2024).


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