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Morning XXVII -- Pablo Neruda

Guet poem sent in by singh_abs2000
(Poem #1263) Morning XXVII
 Naked, you are simple as one of your hands,
 smooth, earthy, small, transparent, round:
 you have moon-lines, apple-pathways:
 naked, you are slender as a naked grain of wheat.

 Naked, you are blue as a night in Cuba;
 you have vines and stars in your hair;
 naked you are spacious and yellow
 as summer in a golden church.

 Naked, you are tiny as one of your nails -
 curved, subtle, rosy, till the day is born
 and you withdraw to the underground world,

 as if down a long tunnel of clothing and of chores:
 your clear light dims, gets dressed - drops its leaves -
 and becomes a naked hand again.
-- Pablo Neruda
What can be said about what cannot be said...that Neruda could say it?

For me this poem captures all the beauty and painful longing of mortal
love...while reading this poem I realized that this poem could equally be a
lover talking of his love lying next to him...or a mother talking of her own
nakedness suckling at her breasts...

Needless to say my favorite line of all times is in here...

  "you have moon-lines, apple-pathways;
  Naked, you are as slender as a naked grain of wheat"

But more than all this there is something unspeakably sacred in these words.
I cant point my fingers at it...it sweeps you when you come face to face
with this poem.

P.S. I have noticed that there are very few Nerudas in the
collection...so I hope this poem opens a new gateway to more Neruda
discoveries! [actually, eight poems isn't all that few, considering. more
would, of course, always be nice :) - martin]

14 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

Alan Kornheiser said...

Forwarding this poem to everyone I know, because indeed it is so lovely it
makes my teeth hurt, I discovered that Microsoft spellcheck never heard of
Neruda. Ah, Mr Snow, where are you now? And where are the CPs of yesteryear?

Anna Marie Bohmann said...

I love Neruda's poems myself, but I prefer the original Spanish and so
whenever Neruda appears here, I always end up searching for the Spanish
text. This time, I thought I'd include it here, so other people don't have
to search+

Mañana XXVII

Desnuda eres tan simple como una de tus manos,
lisa, terrestre, mínima, redonda, transparente,
tienes líneas de luna, caminos de manzana,
desnuda eres delgada como el trigo desnudo.

Desnuda eres azul como la noche en Cuba,
tienes enredaderas y estrellas en el pelo,
desnuda eres enorme y amarilla
como el verano en una iglesia de oro.

Desnuda eres pequeña como una de tus uñas,
curva, sutil, rosada hasta que nace el día
y te metes en el subterráneo del mundo

como en un largo túnel de trajes y trabajos:
tu claridad se apaga, se viste, se deshoja
y otra vez vuelve a ser una mano desnuda.

I find that the sounds work better here, especially "trajes y trabajos"
with th repetition of both the "tra-" and "j" sounds. Also, I think
"moon-lines and apple-pathways" sounds forced in English, in a way that
"lineas de luna, caminos de manzana" (literally "lines of moon, paths of
apple") doesn't in Spanish.

That said, it's hard to translate poetry, and the translation above is
great. Neruda is one of my favorite poets, and it'd be a shame to miss his
wonderful images and phrase simply because we were too snobby to read
translations.

Anna Marie

Fernando Duarte said...

Gracias Anna Marie por la versión en español. Tu amigo,
Fernando.

Ximena said...

here is my translation of this poem, it in deed shows that neruda was
in love with women, not only one... but with the gender. I hope this
translation helps to get a better picture of this poem. And as I
commented in another of Neruda's poem, here he really shows his liking
for the idea of feminity and frailty... the way he's facinated by the
nakedness, the woman in her most vulnerable moment. This - i think -
is mainly because it clashes with himself.

Pablo Neruda

Morning XXVII

Naked you are as simple as one of your hands,
Smooth, earthly, minimal, round, transparent,
You've got lines of the moon, paths of apple,
Naked you are slim as the naked wheat.

Naked you are blue as the night in Cuba,
You have climber-weed and stars in the hair,
Naked you are enormous and yellow
Like summer in a church of gold.
Naked you are small like one of your nails,
Curve, subtle, rosy until the day is born
And you withdraw to the basement of the world

Like in a long tunnel of dresses and works:
Your clarity dims, it dresses, it withers
And once again it becomes a naked hand.
___________________________________________________________
Desnuda eres tan simple como una de tus manos,
lisa, terrestre, mínima, redonda, transparente,
tienes líneas de luna, caminos de manzana,
desnuda eres delgada como el trigo desnudo.

Desnuda eres azul como la noche en Cuba,
tienes enredaderas y estrellas en el pelo,
desnuda eres enorme y amarilla
como el verano en una iglesia de oro.

Desnuda eres pequeña como una de tus uñas,
curva, sutil, rosada hasta que nace el día
y te metes en el subterráneo del mundo

como en un largo túnel de trajes y trabajos:
tu claridad se apaga, se viste, se deshoja
y otra vez vuelve a ser una mano desnuda.

Anonymous said...

i don't know anything about this poem.

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Alper EKİM said...

that poem is in which Neruda's book?

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