Read a poem, talk about it, read it again.

Episode 118 The Altar - Humberto Ak'abal


Connor and Jack discuss a deceptively simple poem full of interwoven contradictions - Humberto Ak'abal's "The Altar." They discuss the multiple layers of linguistic conquest implicit in a poem that has moved from K'iche' to Spanish to English, the history of Guatemala and US involvement in the country's political affairs, and ponder the big questions posed by the poems little candles.

More on Ak'abal, here.

Read the poem in K'iche', Spanish, and English, here.

The Altar
By: Humberto Ak’abal

The shadows
light their candles.

The night
is the altar,

the silence
is the prayer.

And just moments
before dawn,

with one little breath
the wind puts them out.
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