A Funny Poem About the Pope

ParraIf you read poetry, you probably know who Neruda is. However, there is a Chilean poet called Nicanor Parra who might be better.

He is Neruda’s near-contemporary and is still living, aged 100. Parra said of Neruda: “let the birds sing, man talks.”

Because I just encountered Parra’s “anti-poetry” and am in open-mouthed awe, I will be featuring his work for the next few weeks. Below is a funny poem about the pope that I liked for its humor, but also because it treats its subject with grace.


The Poems of the Pope



They just elected me Pope:

I’m the most famous man in the world!



Now I’m at the top of the ecclesiastical profession

and I can die in peace



The Cardinals are angry

because I don’t treat them like I used to

too solemn?

but I’m the Pope goddamm it…



First thing tomorrow

I’ll move into the Vatican



The title of my address:

How to Succeed in the Ecclesiastical Profession



Congratulations are pouring in

every newspaper in the world

has my picture on the front page


and one thing’s for sure:

I look much younger than I really am



Ever since I was a boy

I wanted to be Pope

why’s everybody so surprised

I worked like a dog

to get what I wanted



Holy Mother of God

I forgot to bless the multitude!


Translated from the Spanish by Edith Grossman 


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