Violeta Parra – mental health in the Latin American arts


In this song, famous Chilean folk singer-author of the 1950-60s, Violeta Parra muses on how hard live has become for her. (The song is interpreted by her sister, Isabel Parra.) Instead of engaging in sociological or existential commentary about the pain of living, she simply describes how mother nature has, apparently, decided to withhold from her the things that she needs the most.

As we know that she eventually ended up committing suicide,the last verse in this poem  is not just kind of funny. It’s a door to her mood and consciousness, sort of an announcement of what was to come. I guess it’s all about ‘context’; the end of the poem makes sense when we learn that she was contemplating taking her own life.

She also wrote one of the most beautiful odes to life and living I have ever heard, Gracias a la Vida, just before taking her life. It was a good-bye song that moves even the rocks. I’ll upload after this one.

Thanks to Antonio Fidel for uploading and translating.

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