<bgsound src="23-Track-23.mp3" loop="3">

The Pablo Page

Il Postino(The Postman)

 

  (photo and digital rendering by Monica E. Smith --
Neruda image property of 
http://www.nodo50.org/patrialibre/otrasvoces/neruda.html)

Select Poems of Pablo Neruda

 

Poetry

Ode to Sadness

The Sea (El Mar)

The Saddest Poem

 

In Neruda's Words

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poetry

And it was at that age ... Poetry arrived
in search of me. I don't know, I don't know where
it came from, from winter or a river.
I don't know how or when,
no they were not voices, they were not
words, nor silence,
but from a street I was summoned,
from the branches of night,
abruptly from the others,
among violent fires
or returning alone,
there I was without a face
and it touched me.

I did not know what to say, my mouth
had no way
with names,
my eyes were blind,
and something started in my soul,
fever or forgotten wings,
and I made my own way,
deciphering
that fire,
and I wrote the first faint line,
faint, without substance, pure
nonsense,
pure wisdom
of someone who knows nothing,
and suddenly I saw
the heavens
unfastened
and open,
planets,
palpitating plantations,
shadow perforated,
riddled
with arrows, fire and flowers,
the winding night, the universe.

And I, infinitesimal being,
drunk with the great starry
void,
likeness, image of
mystery,
felt myself a pure part
of the abyss,
I wheeled with the st
ars,
my heart broke loose on the wind.

Ode to Sadness

Sadness, scarab
with seven crippled feet,
spiderweb egg,
scramble-brained rat,
bitch's skeleton:
No entry here.
Don't come in.
Go away.
Go back
south with your umbrella,
go back
north with your serpent's teeth.
A poet lives here.
No sadness may
cross this threshold.
Through these windows
comes the breath of the world,
fresh red roses,
flags embroidered with
the victories of the people.
No.
No entry.
Flap
your bat's wings,
I will trample the feathers
that fall from your mantle,
I will sweep the bits and pieces
of your carcass to
the four corners of the wind,
I will wring your neck,
I will stitch your eyelids shut,
I will sew your shroud,
sadness, and bury your rodent bones
beneath the springtime of an apple tree.

 

 

 

 

 

THE SEA

One single being, but there's no blood.
One single caress, death or rose.
The sea comes and reunites our lives
and attacks and divides and sings alone
in night and day and man and creature.
The essence : fire and cold : movement.

EL MAR

Un solo ser, pero no hay sangre.
Una sola caricia, muerte o rosa.
Viene el mar y re�ne nuestras vidas
y solo ataca y se reparte y canta
en noche y d�a y hombre y criatura.
La esencia : fuego y fr�o : movimiento

 

 

 

 

In Neruda's Words

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride; so I love you because I know no other way.  

You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming.  

The books that help you most are those which make you think that most. The hardest way of learning is that of easy reading; but a great book that comes from a great thinker is a ship of thought, deep freighted with truth and beauty.
 
A child who does not play is not a child, but the man who doesn't play has lost forever the child who lived in him and who he will miss terribly.
 

Love is so short, forgetting is so long.  

Peace goes into the making of a poem as flour goes into the making of bread.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Saddest Poem

I can write the saddest poem of all tonight.

Write, for instance: "The night is full of stars,
and the stars, blue, shiver in the distance."

The night wind whirls in the sky and sings.

I can write the saddest poem of all tonight.
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.

On nights like this, I held her in my arms.
I kissed her so many times under the infinite sky.

She loved me, sometimes I loved her.
How could I not have loved her large, still eyes?

I can write the saddest poem of all tonight.
To think I don't have her. To feel that I've lost her.

To hear the immense night, more immense without her.
And the poem falls to the soul as dew to grass.

What does it matter that my love couldn't keep her.
The night is full of stars and she is not with me.

That's all. Far away, someone sings. Far away.
My soul is lost without her.

As if to bring her near, my eyes search for her.
My heart searches for her and she is not with me.

The same night that whitens the same trees.
We, we who were, we are the same no longer.

I no longer love her, true, but how much I loved her.
My voice searched the wind to touch her ear.

Someone else's. She will be someone else's. As she once
belonged to my kisses.
Her voice, her light body. Her infinite eyes.

I no longer love her, true, but perhaps I love her.
Love is so short and oblivion so long.

Because on nights like this I held her in my arms,
my soul is lost without her.

Although this may be the last pain she causes me,
and this may be the last poem I write for her.

 

Music: The Postman (Trio) from Il Postino

 

Return to Menu

or

Proceed to Reading Room I