Your Assignment – Should You Choose To Accept It

While I was at the airport the other day, I noticed this large plaque on the wall, where you leave and return from Aero Perlas / TACA flights. I can understand enough to tell that this is a beautiful poem.

I did a little research and here is my translation of the only Spanish writeup I found on the author.

Santiago Delgado Anguizola

Born in David (Chiriquí), the westernmost territory of the Republic, a rich agricultural and ranching region, where he studied at the Congregation of Christian Brothers of St. John Baptist de la Salle school.

Its desire to reader will soon become a writer, and his vocation as a journalist has been characterized by its independence of judgment. The poet was editor of the newspaper Ecos del Valle, his hometown.

His poetry is a constant praise the virtues and excellences of their land, a circumstance that has earned him the unanimous consideration of the regional poet.

He died at his farm Rovira in the year 1980.

I have attempted to provide the text, that was on the plaque, below:

Al Volver

Con que placer hasta tu seno arribo, verde y fecunda Chiricana vega, donde a la lumbre de tu sol de libertad concibo.

Arde mi corazón en gozo vivo al tornar a mi casa solariega, mientras la musa regional me entrega de nuevo el dulce caracol nativo.

Vuelve mi alimento a despertar sus sones, donde vibran mis intimas canciones y los anhelos que mi pecho encierra…

Porque asi puedo levantar el vuelo, y confundirme en el azul del cielo sobre los campos de mi amada tierra.

Por fin se muestran a los ojos mios tus fértiles colinas y praderas, el verde esmeraldino de tus eras, y los claros remansos de tus ríos.

y contemplo tus pródigos plantíos cercados de naranjos y palmeras, y en medio de la paz de las laderas, como nido de amores: los bohíos.

Oh, valle de la luna, suelo amado. Nostálgico, enfermo, y fatigo, hoy me acerco hasta el pie de tus montañas…

Lejos, en ti he pensado noche y día, j nunca podre olvidarte, tierra mía, porque te llevo siempre en mis entrañas.

Santiago Anguizola Delgado

13 thoughts on “Your Assignment – Should You Choose To Accept It

  1. Don Ray:
    Beautiful poem by one of the best poets in Chiriqui. My late dad used to work in the airport for COPA in the middle 60’s and again in the late 70’s and I have forgotten about this plaque.
    Thanks for putting it in your blog.

  2. Hi Mr. Williams:
    If I could translate poetry without murdering quality, I´d gladly help. Don Chago Anguizola ( Santiago Anguizola Delgado) is the author of SOY CHIRICANO. Here is the ending of the poem:

    … Y cantaré mientras altivo alumbre
    el esplendente sol desde la cumbre
    del gran Barú hasta el inmenso llano,
    para decirle con orgullo al mundo
    que no en sus glorias mi esperanzas fundo,
    que es mi gloria mayor: SER CHIRICANO!



  3. Hi Don:

    In an effort to help your English-speaking readers understand this beautiful and emotional poem, I’ve decided to accept your assignment. The is a free translation and is vulnerable to errors, so please bear with me.

    “Upon My Return

    With what pleasure I arrive at your bosom,
    productive and green, my Chiriquí valley,
    where the fire of your dazing sun
    I only conceive a sun of liberty.

    My heart is burning with living joy
    as I return to my noble home,
    while the regional muse brings back the sweet and native snail.

    Once more my breath awakens its inner beats,
    where my intimate songs vibrate
    as well as the yearnings that lie within my chest.

    For now I’m able to begin my flight,
    and blend with the blue sky
    above the fields of my beloved land.

    At last I have before my eyes
    your fertile hills and plains,
    the emerald green of your fields,
    and the crystalline pools of your rivers.

    And I contemplate your bountiful crops
    fenced by orange groves and palm trees,
    and in the midst of your peaceful slopes,
    like a nest of love: the huts.

    Oh, Valley of the Moon, dearest land!
    Nostalgic, sick and tired,
    today I come close to the foot of your mountains….

    Far away, I have thought of you night and day;
    I can never forget you, my beloved land,
    because I always keep you deep inside of me!

    …And I will sing as long as it proudly shines
    the splendid sun from up above
    the great Baru to the immense plains,
    to tell the world with pride
    that not in its glories I base my faith,
    but that my greatest glory is: BEING A CHIRICANO.

    Santiago Anguizola Delgado”

    Indeed this is a man very proud of his motherland. This is a beautiful piece of lyrical poetry. Thank you for including it in your site, Don.



  4. Hi Mr. Williams & readers:
    We should congratulate Mr. Upegui. Probably, some readers could attempt to give other variations of the ending of Soy Chiricano. I take the idea from Douglas R. Hofstatder who in Le Ton Beau de Marot (Bloomsbury) provides, with the help of friends, students, colleagues, poets, family and translators, 88 variations of the tiny poem” A une Damoyselle malade” written by the sixteen-century French poet Clement Marot. I highly recommned that book!

  5. Hi Omar and Hilda. Hilda Omar did an outstanding job of translating this poem into English. In doing so, he captured the intense emotions that the author delivered in Spanish.

    I appreciate it and I am sure others will as well. Omar is a faithful reader of Chiriquí Chatter. He has his own blog which you can get to by clicking his name before his comment. He follows technology, interesting English situations and other items that happen to catch hi interest. His native language is Spanish, but his blog is in English and it shows what an excellent English student he was.

  6. Great poem! Thanks, Don and Omar!

    However, Don, the author of the write-up you cited could benefit from a little map study:
    “(Chiriquí), the easternmost territory of the Republic”

    BTW, nice site, Omar; I saved it, and thanks. Going right now to update firefox and send the frog joke to friends.

    Another faithful reader, among the many appreciative “Chiriqui Chatter” fans.

  7. Hi James, I think the “easternmost” was my problem of using Google to do the majority of the translation about the author. Obviously it should be Westernmost, but I think the word in Spanish was “oeste” and that always confuses me.

    I have corrected it in the post. Thanks for bring it to my attention.

  8. Recently a friend gave me your web address, that I immediately opened to read news from my hometown. I can’t tell you how pleasantly surprised I was to see that you had posted my late father’s poem “Al Volver,” as well as its translation.

    To you and the translator my heartfelt thanks for letting a wider audience know about my father’s love for his native land, beautifully expressed in his poetry. In addition to being a poet, he was a journalist and had a very popular radio broadcast. His articles were straightforward; he was never afraid to criticize the wrongdoings of anyone or of the government.

    For your information, he also designed the flag of Chiriqui, proudly displayed throughout the province.

    Again, thank you for your tribute to my late father.


  9. Leda,

    I thought it was a beautiful poem and both I and Omar, who did the translation, enjoy the role that words play in our lives. When they are beautifully written and heartfelt, they are very moving.

    Thank you for writing and thanks also to whoever sent you the link to my blog.

    Don Ray

  10. As Grandson and Youngest Son to Leda. (Hi Mom). I Thank you for giving me a deeper understanding of my grandfather. As a boy we would go there to his ranch, ride horses and be “Bacero’s?” (cowboys) . The times there will remain w/ me always, for a part of me shall always be CHIRICANO.

Leave a Reply