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Clenched Soul -- Pablo Neruda

Guest poem submitted by a contributor who wishes to remain anonymous:
(Poem #941) Clenched Soul
 We have lost even this twilight.
 No one saw us this evening hand in hand
 while the blue night dropped on the world.

 I have seen from my window
 the fiesta of sunset in the distant mountain tops.

 Sometimes a piece of sun
 burned like a coin in my hand.

 I remembered you with my soul clenched
 in that sadness of mine that you know.

 Where were you then?
 Who else was there?
 Saying what?
 Why will the whole of love come on me suddenly
 when I am sad and feel you are far away?

 The book fell that always closed at twilight
 and my blue sweater rolled like a hurt dog at my feet.

 Always, always you recede through the evenings
 toward the twilight erasing statues.
-- Pablo Neruda
Pablo Neruda is one of my favourite poets. His poetry has a curious ethereal
quality to it, a haunting sadnesss. This is one of his most brilliant poems,
conveying the wistfulness ever so tenderly. In a way I would call him the
Van Gogh of poetry -- a brilliant artist drawing on the most poignant of
pictures and capturing them in a web of words. His poetry lives, lives in
the true sense of the word.

[Minstrels Links]

Pablo Neruda:
Poem #164, Bird
Poem #422, Sonnet XVII: Love
Poem #605, The Saddest Poem
Poem #816, I'm Explaining a Few Things

38 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

Melissa Towner said...

Dear Folks --

When you publish a poem in translation could you please try to publish the
translator's name as well? So much of the poem as we experience it is the
translator's work. I have found that I really admire W.S. Merwin's
translations of Neruda but have not been able to get ahold of much of it.
I wonder if this is one of his translations?

Melissa Towner

Maureen Faulkner said...

i luv this poem. it captures all of love.

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I think it is extremely difficult to translate a poem... the force in poetry is not only in the immediate meaning of the words, it is also located in the rhythms and musicality, which is something impossible to translate from one language to another. It's still nice to read it, same way as I can enjoy reading Rimbaud in English, but it never the same.

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