On Neruda…


My heart races when Neruda talks of how he sees his lover, how his passion evolves because of her. My heart aches when Neruda shows the profound depths of his depression, how his dark internal world could be. He writes of the world he is experiencing with passion and he does not cloud the essence of his experiences with easy phrases or lofty metaphors. The result is breathtaking.

He once stated that he always returns to his work, “to the blank page which every day awaits us poets so that we shall fill it with our blood and our darkness, for with blood and darkness poetry is written, poetry should be written.” It is this linguistic alchemy that draws me in. His writing insists that I step through the fog of my disbelief and be present as I join him in the rendering.

A task I willingly perform.

I like for you to be still

by Pablo Neruda

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.
It seems as though your eyes had flown away
and it seems that a kiss had sealed your mouth.

As all things are filled with my soul
you emerge from the things, filled with my soul.
You are like my soul, a butterfly of dream,
and you are like the word Melancholy.

I like for you to be still, and you seem far away.
It sounds as though you were lamenting, a butterfly cooing like a dove.
And you hear me from far away, and my voice does not reach you:
Let me come to be still in your silence.

And let me talk to you with your silence
that is bright as a lamp, simple as a ring.
You are like the night, with its stillness and constellations.
Your silence is that of a star, as remote and candid.

I like for you to be still: it is as though you were absent,
distant and full of sorrow as though you had died.
One word then, one smile, is enough.
And I am happy, happy that it’s not true.


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Comments (4)

  1. Reply

    Reblogged this on The Manifest-Station and commented:
    My dearest Angela Giles Patel’s latest. Please follow her blog. She is one of the editors of The Manifest-Station. An amazing poet and friend. ps, I know I am behind on posts with The Manifest-Station but will be getting some up this week. xojen

  2. Norma Cantu


    I too love Neruda, despite the fact that he likes his women silent! a problem, I would say!

  3. medea Isphording Bern


    Neruda’s imagery takes my breath away. Thanks for this reminder to lose the self to poetry then return fresh to the blank page.

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