A poem more than three kilometres across in the Chilean desert

I heard a rumour about this poem which had been written by a Chilean poet using huge bulldozers in the Atacama desert. The poem says “ni pena ni miedo”. Always hard to translate poetry – but a good approximation is “Neither shame  nor fear.” The poet Raúl Zurita had been persecuted in Pinochet’s rule through the 70’s and 80’s. I found the story by yipero on geo2web.com, as below.

This is a big one! A poet wrote a 3 kilometer-wide message – visible from space – in the desert of northwest Chile. The message says “ni pena ni miedo” which translates in English to “neither shame nor fear“. The poet’s name is Raúl Zurita, and he used a bull dozer to write the message in the desert sand. According to an interview at Jacket Magazine (about half-way down the article), the poet “…doesn’t like abstract poetry. He says that in those days of brutality and distrust and terror, the reign of Pinochet, he began to imagine writing poems in the sky, on the faces of cliffs, in the desert. His words…are gradually fading away, joining thousands of men, women, and children who disappeared in fear and pain during the Pinochet years.” Fortunately, his words are now immortalized in satellite photos and Google Earth! Check out the entire message in Google Earth. It’s huge, and it’s really there – not a photoshop.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *