Poem to the Sun

Homero Aridjis

Oh, sunflower seer,

oh, yellow seed,

your name fits in a single syllable, said the poet


Oh, father of mythologies,

the dream of light produces shapes,

said the painter


If the eye were not solar,

how would it be able to see the light,

said the poet


If the light were not a master of color,

how would it be able to paint her eyes,

said the painter


The sun rises on the Great Pyramid of Giza every


night sets in the Orient of your eyes every morning,

said the poet


The Sun doesn’t set on the horizon,

the Sun knows no night,

what darkens is the eye, said the painter


I don’t need to go into afternoon fields

to see the glories of the Sun for the Sun

of mythologies is the eye, said the poet


The Sun’s poem is infinite,

we can only paint it in words,

said the painter


Whenever the Sun speaks,

every creature goes quiet,

said the poet


The Sun is a Being,

the Sun is light present,

said the painter


Light’s infinite smile

is a verse that is a poem

that is a universe,


the thinking eye is a laughing eye,

the eye that thinks us we paint

with its own rays, said the poet


The Sun has no history,

the Sun lives in the eternity of the moment,

said the painter


The stripe-faced Sun is a jaguar

running through the night sky devouring shadows,

devouring instants, said the poet


The Sun erstwhile. A deified Sun.

The Sun in the mind. A demented Sun,

said the painter


Light’s history

is an archaeology of eyes,

said the poet


Intelligent light comes from the Sun

at the right temperature to paint your hands,

said the painter


The figure projecting shadow, the insubstantial

silhouette following you down the street, that’s me,

said the poet


What is a shadow,

a splendor on one’s back

and a blot on the ground, said the painter


The Sun is the shape of its love,

man bears in his eyes the shape of that love,

at life’s end man will be the specter of that love


At the end of the day, amid the long evening


man will miss his past splendor,

said the painter


God doesn’t exist, said a third party,

God lives inside your head.

If you don’t think of Him, He dies, out of mind


If God doesn’t exist, who does?

Your shadow? your ghost? your un-memory?

replied the painter


God doesn’t exist,

a gigantic vacuum exists,

said the third party


If a gigantic vacuum exists,

something does exist then,

said the poet


Those are

nothing but words,

said the third party


If God didn’t exist,

neither would your words,

said the poet


Before dawn, my eyes

had already devised the creatures you see

at this moment under the Sun, said the painter


Everything began with an image,

everything began with the word light,

said the poet


When dogs bark at the Moon,

they’re actually barking at the Sun,

said the painter


The expanding universe fits into our minds,

into our expanding minds fit all the stars,

our mind is a verse towards the universe, said the



I was struck by my own old age

the moment I saw the first gray hair on my

            daughter’s head,

said the painter


Man’s task:

to not be sad under the light,

said the poet


The encyclopedia of the Sun is my bedside book.

The Sun’s encyclopedia is an eye blazing

through the closed covers, said the painter


In the corners of my library,

hidden amid thousands of words,

shines the poem of the Sun, said the poet


It’s odd I should never before

have drawn such dazzling figures

with rays of faint light, said the painter


Isn’t it odd that the poem of the Sun

arrives with the eyes closed and at night?

said the poet


The volatile nature of human beings,

the giving nature of things in the world

we owe to the Sun, said the painter


From seeing it so much my eyes have grown solar,

from so much naming of it my words glow,

said the poet


From painting its eyes so much I have been rendered


its images sear my fingers,

said the painter


The Sun’s portrait,

others will put the finish to,

said the poet


The poem of the Sun

began a long time ago,

said the poet


Oh, sunflower seer,

oh, yellow syllable,

said the poet


Midnight, Sunday-Monday,

February 23-24, 2003.




 Aridjis, Homero. "Poem to the Sun." Poemas solares: Solar Poems. Trans. George McWhirter. San Francisco: City Lights Books, 2010. pp. 17-29.

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