Dia de Muertos

03 November 2017

“Calaveras”, literally “skulls”, are Mexican literary compositions in traditional verse, usually written on the eve of the Day of the Dead. A tradition that dates back to the 19th century as a burlesque epitaph and as a way of expressing ideas or feelings that are difficult to say; frequently they were censored since they served as means to express discontent with the politicians of the time. Mexican Fabricanti Karen Oetling and Daniel Benitez created this poem and its gif, and we happy to publish them on our site.

 

Para México la muerte
se viste siempre de gala
y eso es porque ella siente
que poniéndose catrina
no se verá ella tan mala

Estaba la catrina sentada
pensando còmo llevarse
a esos buenos para nada
que polìticos hacen llamarse

En los Estados Unidos
a la casa blanca reluciente
la calaca fue a asustar
al del copete resplandeciente
de que sin muro se va a quedar

Por estar ya tan cerquita
cruzó fácil la frontera
a decirle a Peña Nieto
que mejor se quede quieto
que aunque en México tembló
robe menos a su pueblo
porque poca ayuda èl diò.

Aunque había otros países
que debía de visitar,
pues por ejemplo a Maduro
no lo quisiera dejar;
mejor atravesó el mar
para llevarse a otros seres
que aquí no deben estar.

Al llegar a Gran Bretaña,
quiso llevarse a Theresa,
pero con el brexit y eso
tenía ella mucha tarea…
la dejaré otro añito,
pensó la pobre calaca,
a ver si con mas tiempito
arregla aunque sea un poquito.

Luego llegó a las españas
sin saber qué idioma hablar…
le gusto mas puigdemont
para en el cielo enseñar
a tanta gente que quiere
aprender a protestar.

 

Translation by Sarah Friedland:

In Mexico the dead
always dresses up
and that is because
she doesn’t want to
scare everyone off

The catrina was deciding
thinking how to kill
those that do nothing
and send their countries downhill

In the United States
in the big old White House
the skinny one went to tell
the guy with the golden forelock
that without a wall he would stay

Since she was already close
to the border she just crossed
and went to tell Peña Nieto
that he better run away.
Instead of the land trembling
he should be the one shaking
for the little help he gave

There were many countries
that the catrina wanted to visit
because she didn’t want to leave out,
politicians like Maduro.
She crossed the sea
to take other human beings
that shouldn’t be in the world

When she arrived in Great Britain,
to Theresa’s office she went
and found her full of papers
since towards EU she couldn’t be bent.
I’ll leave her another year,
thought the poor calaca,
to see if with more time
she could at least try to rhyme.

Then she arrived in Spain
not knowing what language to speak
between Rajoy and Puidgemont
she chose to scare the first
since at least the last.