Saturday, December 1, 2018

Tactics and Strategy

Tactics and Strategy 
By Mario Benedetti
Translated by Louise B. Popkin

My tactic is

        to watch you

get to know who you are

love who you are

my tactic is

             to talk to you

and listen

build a permanent bridge

out of words

my tactic is

to find a place in your memory

I don’t know just how     or

where and when

but to find my place in you

my tactic is

                to be open

knowing you are too

and never sell each other

false goods

so that between us

there will be no secrets

                      or distances

my strategy

on the other hand

is simpler and more


my strategy is

that one of these days

I don’t know just how    or

where and when

finally        you’ll need me.

Benedetti (1920 - 2009) is regarded as one of Latin America’s most important poets of the 20th century and one of Uruguay's most prolific writers. He excelled in all literary genres: novels, short stories, poems, plays, essays, political articles, and polemical songs.

I loved this poem. The poet speaks of tactics and strategies to woo his lover. But  they are not devious or manipulative. They are soft tactics and strategies rooted in honesty and sincerity. 

 Source :  "Witness: The selected Poems of Mario Benedetti" translated by Louisa B.Popkin.

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