Last modified on 2 November 2014, at 15:23

Pablo Neruda

Someday, somewhere — anywhere, unfailingly, you'll find yourself, and that, and only that, can be the happiest or bitterest hour of your life.

Pablo Neruda (July 12, 1904September 23, 1973) was a Chilean poet, born Neftalí Reyes Basoalto (in full, Ricardo Eliecer Neftalí Reyes Basoalto)

See also: Canto General

QuotesEdit

  • Debajo de tu piel vive la luna.
    • The moon lives in the lining of your skin.
    • Oda a la Bella Desnuda (Ode to a Beautiful Nude), from Nuevas Odas Elementales (1956), trans. Nathaniel Tarn in Selected Poems by Pablo Neruda [Houghton Mifflin, 1990, ISBN 0-395-54418-1] (p. 349)
  • ¿Sabes que en las calles no hay nadie
    y adentro de las casas tampoco?

    Sólo hay ojos en las ventanas.
    Si no tienes dònde dormir
    toca una puerta y te abrirán,
    te abrirán hasta cierto punto
    y verás que hace frío adentro,
    que aquella casa está vacía,
    y no quiere nada contigo,
    no valen nada tus historias,
    y si insistes con tu ternura
    te muerden el perro y el gato.

    • Don't you know there is no one in the streets
      and no one in the houses?

      There are only eyes in the windows.
      If you don't have a place to sleep,
      knock on a door and it will open,
      open up to a certain point
      and you will see that it is cold inside,
      and that that house is empty
      and wants nothing to do with you,
      your stories mean nothing,
      and if you insist on being gentle,
      the dog and the cat will bite you.

    • Soliloquio en Tinieblas (Soliloquy at Twilight) from Estravagario (Book of Vagaries) (1958)
  • Y algo golpeaba en mi alma,
    fiebre o alas perdidas,
    y me fui haciendo solo,
    descifrando
    aquella quemadura
    y escribí la primera línea vaga,
    vaga, sin cuerpo, pura,
    tontería
    pura sabiduría
    del que no sabe nada,
    y vi de pronto
    el cielo
    desgranado
    y abierto.
    • 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 I suddenly saw
      the heavens
      unfastened
      and open.
    • Poesía (Poetry) from Memorial de Isla Negra (Memorial of Isla Negra) (1964), Selected Poems by Pablo Neruda [Houghton Mifflin, 1990, ISBN 0-395-54418-1] (p. 457)
  • Allí en Rangoon comprendí que los dioses
    eran tan enemigos como Dios
    del pobre ser humano.
    Dioses
    de alabastro tendidos
    como ballenas blancas,
    dioses dorados como las espigas,
    dioses serpientes enroscados
    al crimen de nacer,
    budhas desnudos y elegantes
    sonriendo en el coktail
    de la vacía eternidad
    como Cristo en su cruz horrible,
    todos dispuestos a todo,
    a imponernos su cielo,
    todos con llagas o pistola
    para comprar piedad o quemarnos la sangre,
    dioses feroces del hombre
    para esconder la cobardía,
    y allí todo era así,
    toda la tierra olía a cielo,
    a mercadería celeste.
    • There in Rangoon I realized that the gods
      were enemies, just like God,
      of the poor human being.
      Gods
      in alabaster extended
      like white whales,
      gods gilded like spikes,
      serpent gods entwining
      the crime of being born,
      naked and elegant buddhas
      smiling at the cocktail party
      of empty eternity
      like Christ on his horrible cross,
      all of them capable of anything,
      of imposing on us their heaven,
      all with torture or pistol
      to purchase piety or burn our blood,
      fierce gods made by men
      to conceal their cowardice,
      and there it was all like that,
      the whole earth reeking of heaven,
      and heavenly merchandise.
    • Religión en el Este (Religion in the East) from Memorial of Isla Negra [Memorial de Isla Negra] (1964), trans. by Anthony Kerrigan in Selected Poems by Pablo Neruda [Houghton Mifflin, 1990, ISBN 0-395-54418-1] (p. 463)
  • Es la hora, amor mío, de apartar esta rosa sombría,
    cerrar las estrellas, enterrar la ceniza en la tierra:
    y, en la insurrección de la luz, despertar con los que despertaron
    o seguir en el sueño alcanzando la otra orilla del mar que no tiene otra orilla.
    • It is time, love, to break off that sombre rose,
      shut up the stars and bury the ash in the earth;
      and, in the rising of the light, wake with those who awoke
      or go on in the dream, reaching the other shore of the sea which has no other shore.
    • La Barcarola Termina (The Watersong Ends) (1967), trans. Anthony Kerrigan in Selected Poems by Pablo Neruda [Houghton Mifflin, 1990, ISBN 0-395-54418-1] (p. 500)
  • Sólo con una ardiente paciencia conquistaremos la espléndida ciudad que dará luz, justicia y dignidad a todos los hombres. Así la poesía no habrá cantado en vano.
    • Only with a burning patience can we conquer the splendid City which will give light, justice and dignity to all mankind. In this way the song will not have been sung in vain.
    • Nobel lecture, Hacia la ciudad espléndida (Towards the Splendid City) (1971-12-13). In the passage directly preceding these words, Neruda identified the source of his allusion:

      "It is today exactly one hundred years since an unhappy and brilliant poet, the most awesome of all despairing souls, wrote down this prophecy: 'À l'aurore, armés d'une ardente patience, nous entrerons aux splendides Villes.' 'In the dawn, armed with a burning patience, we shall enter the splendid Cities.' I believe in this prophecy of Rimbaud, the Visionary." (Hace hoy cien años exactos, un pobre y espléndido poeta, el más atroz de los desesperados, escribió esta profecía: "À l'aurore, armes d'une ardente patience, nous entrerons aux splendides Villes". "Al amanecer, armados de una ardiente paciencia, entraremos a las espléndidas ciudades." Yo creo en esa profecía de Rimbaud, el Vidente.)

      The quotation is from Arthur Rimbaud's poem "Adieu" from Une Saison en Enfer (1873)

  • Un pilar soportando consuelos
    Y no me digan nada
    ¿Y bien? ¿Te sana el metaloide pálido?
    Tengo un miedo terrible de ser un animal
    íY, si después de tantos palabras
    La cólera que quiebra al hombre en niños
    • One pillar holding up consolations
      And don’t bother telling me anything
      And so? The pale metalloid heals you?
      I have a terrible fear of being an animal.
      And what if after so many words,
      The anger that breaks a man down into boys.
    • From Espana, aparta de mi este caliz, Masa, Neruda and Vallejo: selected poems, By Robert Bly, John Knoepfle, James Arlington Wright, Pablo Neruda, César Vallejo, copyright 1971, Beacon Press. Translations by Robert Bly, John Knoepfle, and James Wright. ISBN 0-8070-6480-0

Veinte Poemas de Amor y una Canción Desesperada (Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair) (1924)Edit

trans. William S. Merwin [Penguin Classics, 1993, ISBN 0-140-18648-4]

  • ¿Quién escribe tu nombre con letras de humo entre las estrellas del sur?
    Ah déjame recordarte cómo eras entonces, cuando aún no existías.
    • Who writes your name in letters of smoke among the stars of the south?
      Oh let me remember you as you were before you existed.
    • "Every Day You Play" (Juegas Todos los Días), XIV, p. 35
  • Quiero hacer contigo lo que la primavera hace con los cerezos.
    • I want to do with you what spring does with cherry trees.
    • "Every Day You Play" (Juegas Todos las Días), XIV, p. 35
  • Me gustas cuando callas porque estás como ausente,
    y me oyes desde lejos, y mi voz no te toca.
    • I like for you to be still: it is as though you were absent,
      and you hear me from far away and my voice does not touch you.
    • "I Like for You to be Still" (Me Gustas Cuando Callas), p. 37
  • Puedo escribir los versos más tristes esta noche.
    • Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
    • "Tonight I Can Write" (Puedo Escribir), XX, p. 49
  • Es tan corto el amor y tan largo el olvido.
    • Love is so short and forgetting is so long.
    • "Tonight I Can Write" (Puedo Escribir), XX, p. 51

Residencia en la Tierra (Residence on Earth) (1933)Edit

trans. William Merwin in Selected Poems by Pablo Neruda [Houghton Mifflin, 1990, ISBN 0-395-54418-1]

  • Estoy solo entre materias desvencijadas,
    la lluvia cae sobre mí, y se me parece,
    se me parece con su desvarío,solitaria en el mundo muerto,
    rechazada al caer, y sin forma obstinada.
    • I am alone with rickety materials,
      the rain falls on me, and it is like me,
      it is like me in its raving, alone in the dead world,
      repulsed as it falls, and with no persistent form.
    • Débil del Alba (Weak with the Dawn or The Dawn's Debility), Residencia I (Residence I), I, stanza 5
    • Alternate translation by Donald D. Walsh:
      I am alone among rickety substances,
      the rain falls upon me and it seems like me,
      like me with its madness, alone in the dead world,
      rejected as it falls, and without persistent shape.
  • Enterrado junto al cocotero hallarás más tarde
    el cuchillo que escodí allí por temor de que me mataras,
    y ahora repentinamente quisiera oler su acero de cocina
    acostumbrado al peso de tu mano y al brillo de tu pie:
    bajo la humedad de la tierra, entre las sordas raíces,
    de los lenguajes humanos el pobre sólo sabría tu nombre,
    y la espesa tierra no comprende tu nombre
    hecho de impenetrables y substancias divinas.
    • Later on you will find buried near the coconut tree
      the knife which I hid there for fear you would kill me,
      and now suddenly I would be glad to smell its kitchen steel
      used to the weight of your hand, the shine of your foot:
      under the dampness of the ground, among the deaf roots,
      in all the languages of the men only the poor will know your name,
      and the dense earth does not understand your name
      made of impenetrable divine substances.
    • Tango del Viudo (The Widower's Tango), Residencia I (Residence I), III, stanza 3
    • Alternate translation by Donald D. Walsh:
      Buried next to the cocoanut tree you will later find
      the knife that I hid there for fear that you would kill me,
      and now suddenly I should like to smell its kitchen steel
      accustomed to the weight of your hand and the shine of your foot:
      under the moisture of the earth, among the deaf roots,
      of all human labguages the poor thing would know only your name,
      and the thick earth does not understand your name
      made of impenetrable and divine substances.
  • No quiero para mí tantas desgracias.
    No quiero continuar de raíz y de tumba,
    de subterráneo solo, de bodega con muertos
    ateridos, muriéndome de pena.
    • I do not want to be the inheritor of so many misfortunes.
      I do not want to continue as a root and as a tomb,
      as a solitary tunnel, as a cellar full of corpses,
      stiff with cold, dying with pain.
    • Walking Around, Residencia II (Residence II), II, stanza 4-5
    • Alternate translation by Donald D. Walsh:
      I do not want for myself so many misfortunes.
      I do not want to continue as root and tomb,
      just underground, a vault with corpses
      stiff with cold, dying of distress.
  • Si me preguntáis en dónde he estado
    debo decir "Sucede."
    Debo de hablar del suelo que oscurecen las piedras,
    del río que durando se destruye:
    no sé sino las cosas que los pájaros pierden,
    el mar dejado atrás, o mi hermana llorando.
    ¿Por qué tantas regiones, por qué un día
    se junta con un día? ¿Por qué una negra noche
    se acumula en la boca? ¿Por qué muertos?
    • If you should ask me where I've been all this time
      I have to say "Things happen."
      I have to dwell on stones darkening the earth,
      on the river ruined in its own duration:
      I know nothing save things the birds have lost,
      the sea I left behind, or my sister crying.
      Why this abundance of places? Why does day lock
      with day? Why the dark night swilling round
      in our mouths? And why the dead?
    • No Hay Olvido (Sonata) (There's No Forgetting (Sonata) or There is No Oblivion (Sonata)), Residencia II (Residence II), VI, stanza 1
    • Alternate translation by Donald D. Walsh:
      If you ask me where I have been
      I must say "It so happens."
      I must speak of the ground darkened by stones,
      of the river that enduring is destroyed:
      I know only the things that the birds lose,
      the sea left behind, or my sister weeping.
      Why so many regions, why does a day
      join a day? Why does a black night
      gather in the mouth? Why dead people?
  • Preguntaréis: ¿Y dónde están las lilas?
    ¿Y la metafísica cubierta de amapolas?
    ¿Y la lluvia que a menudo golpeaba
    sus palabras llenándolas
    de agujeros y pájaros?
    • You are going to ask: and where are the lilacs?
      and the poppy-petalled metaphysics?
      and the rain repeatedly spattering
      its words and drilling them full
      of apertures and birds.
    • Explico Algunos Cosas (I'm Explaining a Few Things or I Explain a Few Things), Tercera Residencia (Third Residence), IV, stanza 1
    • Alternate translation by Donald D. Walsh:
      You will ask: And where are the lilacs?
      And the metaphysical blanket of poppies?
      And the rain that often struck
      your words filling them
      with holes and birds?
  • Preguntaréis ¿por qué su poesía
    no nos habla del sueño, de las hojas,
    de los grandes volcanes de su país natal?

    Venid a ver la sangre por las calles,
    venid a ver
    la sangre por las calles,
    venid a ver la sangre
    por las calles!

    • And you will ask: why doesn't his poetry
      speak of dreams and leaves
      and the great volcanoes of his native land?

      Come and see the blood in the streets.
      Come and see
      the bloods in the streets.
      Come and see the blood
      in the streets!

    • Explico Algunos Cosas (I'm Explaining a Few Things or I Explain a Few Things), Tercera Residencia (Third Residence), IV, stanza 9
    • Alternate translation by Donald D. Walsh:
      You will ask: why does your poetry
      not speak to us of of sleep, of the leaves,
      of the great volcanoes of your native land?

      Come and se the blood in the streets,
      come and see
      the blood in the streets,
      come and see the blood
      in the streets!

External linksEdit

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has an article about: