Monday, February 26, 2007

Pablo Neruda

The Queen

I have named you queen.
There are taller ones than you, taller.
There are purer ones than you, purer.
There are lovelier ones than you, lovelier.

But you are the queen.

When you go through the streets
no one recognizes you.
No one sees your crystal crown, no one looks
at the carpet of red gold
that you tread as you pass,
the nonexistent carpet.

And when you appear
all the rivers sound
in my body, bells
shake the sky,
and a hymn fills the world.

Only you and I,
only you and I, my love,
listen to it.

Your Hands

When your hands go out,
love, toward mine,
what do they bring me flying?
Why did they stop
at my mouth, suddenly,
why do I recognize them
as if then, before,
I had touched them,
as if before they existed
they had passed over
my forehead, my waist?

Their softness came
flying over time,
over the sea, over the smoke,
over the spring,
and when you placed
your hands on my chest,
I recognized those golden
dove wings,
I recognized that clay
and that color of wheat.

All the years of my life
I walked around looking for them.
I went up the stairs,
I crossed the roads,
trains carried me,
waters brought me,
and in the skin of the grapes
I thought I touched you.
The wood suddenly
brought me your touch,
the almond announced to me
your secret softness,
until your hands
closed on my chest
and there like two wings
they ended their journey.

from Autumn Testament


at last he turns in ecstasy to his love

Matilde Urrutia, I'm leaving you here
all I had, all I didn't have,
all I am, all I am not.
My love is a child crying,
reluctant to leave your arms,
I leave it to you for ever -
you are my chosen one.

You are my chosen one,
more tempered by winds
than thin trees in the south,
a hazel in August;
for me you are as delicious
as a great bakery.
You have an earth heart
but your hands are from heaven.

You are red and spicy,
you are white and salty
like pickled onions,
you are a laughing piano
with every human note;
and music runs over me
from your eyelashes and your hair.
I wallow in your gold shadow,
I'm enchanted by your ears
as though I had seen them before
in underwater coral.
In the sea for your nails' sake,
I took on terrifying fish.

Your eyes widen from south to south,
your smile goes east and west;
your feet can hardly be seen,
and the sun takes pleasure
in dawning in your hair.
Your face and your body come from
hard places, as I do,
from rain-washed rituals,
ancient lands and martyrs.
The Bio-Bio still sings
in our bloodstained clay,
but you brought from the forest
every secret scent,
and the way your profile has of shining
like a lost arrow,
an old warrior's medal.
You overcame me
with love and origins,
because your mouth brought back
ancient beginnings,
forest meetings from another time,
dark ancestral drums.
I suddenly heard myself summoned -
it was far away, vague.
I moved close to ancient foliage,
I touched my blood in your mouth,
dear love, my Araucana.

What can I leave you, Matilde,
when you have at your touch
that aura of burning leaves,
that fragrance of strawberries,
and between your sea-breasts
the half-light of Cauquenes,
and the laurel-smell of Chile?

It is high autumn at sea,
full of mists and hidden places;
the land stretches and breathes,
leaves fall by the month.
And you, bent over my work,
with both passion and patience,
deciphering the green prints,
the spiderwebs, the insects
of my fateful handwriting.
Lioness on your little feet,
what would I do without
the neat ways of your hands?
Where would I be wandering
with no heart, with no end?
On what faraway buses,
flushed with fire or snow?

I owe you marine autumn
with dankness at its roots
and fog like a grape
and the graceful sun of the country;
and the silent space
in which sorrows lose themselves
and only the bright crown
of joy comes to the surface.
I owe you it all,
my unchained dove,
my crested quail,
my mountain finch,
my peasant from Coihueco.

Sometime when we've stopped being,
stopped coming and going,
under seven blankets of dust
and the dry feet of death,
we'll be close again, love,
curious and puzzled.
Our different feathers,
our bumbling eyes,
our feet which didn't meet
and our printed kisses,
all will be back together,
but what good will it do us,
the closeness of the grave?
Let life not separate us;
and who cares about death?


Pablo Neruda


Muppet The Wonder Dog said...

Yo quiero hablar con muchas cosas
y no me iré de este planeta
sin saber qué vine a buscar,
sin averiguar este asunto,
y no me bastan las personas,
yo tengo que ir mucho más lejos
y tengo que ir mucho más cerca.

I want to speak with many things
and I will not leave this planet
without knowing what I came to find,
without solving this affair,
and people are not enough,
I have to go much farther
and I have to go much closer.

carol said...