Escala, 1988

Steps on the Scale, 1988
Object, 113 x 41.5 x 71 cm



I think happiness is a great gift,
sadness leads nowhere,
for if you have no gift in life
you can’t make the cockerel sing.

I think thoughts are fine, but to me
any attitude is valid. What goes round
comes round, so it is only inside me
that I find what I want; nothing else will do.

You must do everything alone.
Take the hook out of your mouth
and let words flow freely.

In every thread there is a knot
and the bait is greed. Either way,
tie a knot between the two, hard, under the sun.

Translator’s note: Each verse ends on a note from the musical scale that has a double meaning in Catalan with no equivalent in English



You should not use words, because – do
it’s better to walk with a stick – re
when talking to wolves. Otherwise – do
be wary of proverbs. They lie. – re

Tree bark never says anything. – do
What is the meaning of words – re
directed against other people? – do
This is like making a stick – re

with the alphabet. Spit on your hands, – sol
chew a few leaves, but – la
make an effort and it’ll be easier – si

to see yourself. A well made nest – la
can become a word. Make one – si
and give it any name you like. – sol

Brossa, Joan: Furgó de cua: 1989–1991. Barcelona: Quaderns Crema, 1993, pp. 91–92

Technical details

Original title:
Registration number:
Brossa, Joan
Date created:
Date acquired:
MACBA Collection. MACBA Consortium
Object type:
Vinyl on wood
113 x 41.5 x 71 cm (height x width x depth)
MACBA Collection. MACBA Consortium. Joan Brossa Fund. Long-term loan of Fundació Joan Brossa
© Fundació Joan Brossa, VEGAP, Barcelona
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