Saturday, November 25, 2017

Death - A Poem

A Poem by Pablo Neruda,

ALMIGHTY DEATH invited me many times:
it was like the hidden salt in waves,
and its invisible flavors tasted
like collapsing shipwrecks and summits
or vast structures made by wind and snowdrifts.

I came to the iron edge, to the thinness
of air, to the shroud of farms and stones,
the starry void of the final steps
before the dizzying spiral road:
but wide sea, O death!, you don’t come in waves
but rather like clear twilight galloping
or like the infinite host of the night.

You never came to dig in our pockets, your visit
was not possible without a red dress:
without a dawn-lit field ringed in silence:
without towering or buried monuments of tears.

I couldn’t love the tree in every soul
shouldering its own tiny autumn (a thousand leaves dying),
all of these false deaths and resurrections
without graves, without oblivion:
I wanted to swim in the fullest lives,
in the widest estuaries,
and when little by little men renounced me
and closed their doors and paths so the fountains
of my hands wouldn’t touch their wounded existence,
I then went street by street and river by river,
city by city and bed by bed,
my salty mask crossing the wilderness,
and in the last humiliated houses, without light, fire,
bread, stone, or silence, alone,
I doubled over, dying of my own death.

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