Peso ancestral

Poem by Alfonsina Storni, 1892-1938, Argentina. English translation by Liz Henry.

Peso ancestral

Tú me dijiste: no lloró mi padre;
Tú me dijiste: no lloró mi abuelo;
No han llorado los hombres de miraza,
Eran de acero.

Así diciendo te brotó una lágrima
Y me cayó en la boca . . . más veneno
Yo no he bebido nunca en otro vaso
Así pequeño.

Débil mujer, pobre mujer que entiende,
Dolor de siglos conocí al beberlo:
¡Oh, el alma mía soportar no puede
Todo su peso!

Ancestral burden

You told me: My father never cried;
You told me: My grandfather never cried;
The men of my family never cried;
they were steel.

While you spoke, a tear welled up
and fell to my mouth . . . the most venom
I’ve ever drunk from a cup
so small.

Frail woman, poor woman, who understands
the pain of centuries I tasted in that drink:
Oh, this soul of mine can’t bear
all your burden!

12 thoughts on “Peso ancestral

  1. Doesn’t this poem have to do with the like culture of men well our like culture and how society wants them to be like macho men & all that.
    They have to be strong and they have to not cry cause its like against the culture since the past this has been going on since like ancient times and there is still that mentality today that men don’t cry and they have to be the man in the house and control everything. It also talks about how women cry for like any little reason they take all the sadness from the men and bring them upon themselves which is kind of pathetic men have their own feelings some show it and others don’t but to our society it’s really shocking when a man cries. I don’t know if am right but this is just what I think.

  2. *You’re and also she is saying that them NOT crying only weighs their soul down and passes their burden that they could not vent out in crying.

  3. It’s not that the men are carrying a burden because they can’t cry… but rather they are passing on this burden to the women, who are then forced to carry all the sadness for the whole family. So when the daughter tastes her mother’s tears she wants out of the system… because she doesn’t want to have to carry the burdens of the next generation of men on top of all her ancestors.

    1. it is saying that the pain of one generation of men who don’t cry is passed on to all those who follow and increases exponentially, and that the woman, when she gets a taste of the unexpressed pain of men realizes that she cannot bear it. women weep about their unfair burdens in life, but seldom experience the burden that society places on men, and if she does, she realizes it is unbearable. when the shoe is on the other foot, women should see men with more compassion.

      1. That’s not at all what Sorni is saying. By pointing out that only the women cry, she is saying that men give their burdens to women, and leave them to be empathetic and weep while on the outside seeming strong. By saying that the women understand the centuries of pain, she means that specifically women understand the pain, not necessarily the men, who are so determined to hide their sadness that they metaphorically pass it to women, hence the tear tasting of venom.

    1. Si vez más a fondo el poema ella lo que está criticando en el poema es el pensamiento machista que corre por generaciones en la sociedad

  4. Esta poema de refleja los temas de machismo, relación social, sexualidad, y la identidad. Este poema se trata que los hombres en generaciones diferentes sigue el valor que hombres nunca llora porque la sociedad de hombres creen que es necesario para sigue este moral.

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