To A Monarch Butterfly

You who go through the day
like a wingèd tiger
burning as you fly
tell me what supernatural life
is painted on your wings
so that after this life
I may see you in my night

(Trans. George McWhirter)



Writer Homero Aridjis (born April 6, 1940) is a Mexican poet, novelist, environmental activist, journalist and diplomat known for his originality and independence. In March 1985, Aridjis founded and became president of the Group of 100, an association of prominent artists and intellectuals, devoted to environmental protection and the defense of biodiversity in Mexico and Latin America. Under his leadership the Group of 100 achieved in 1986 the official decree ensuring protection for the forests where the migratory monarch butterfly overwinters near where he and his wife Betty live. From April 2007 until the abolition of the post in January 2010 he was Mexico’s ambassador to UNESCO, where he was a staunch defender of human rights, freedom of expression and cultural diversity.