Poem by Pablo Neruda

Still Another Day: XVII/Men

The truth is in the prologue. Death to the romantic fool,
to the expert in solitary confinement,
I’m the same as the teacher from Colombia,
the Rotarian from Philadelphia, the merchant
from Paysandu who save his silver
to come here. We all arrive on different streets,
by unequal languages, at Silence.

Still Another Day: I

Today is that day, the day that carried
a desperate light that since has died.
Don’t let the squatters know:
let’s keep it all between us,
day, between your bell
and my secret.

Today is dead winter in the forgotten land
that comes to visit me, with a cross on the map
and a volcano in the snow, to return to me,
to return again the water
fallen on the roof of my childhood.
Today when the sun began with its shafts
to tell the story, so clear, so old,
the slanting rain fell like a sword,
the rain my hard heart welcomes.

You, my love, still asleep in August,
my queen, my woman, my vastness, my geography
kiss of mud, the carbon-coated zither,
you, the vestment of my persistent song,
today you are reborn again and with the sky’s
black water confuses me and compels me:
I must renew my bones in your kingdom,
I must still uncloud my earthly duties.

Unity

There is something dense, united, settled in the depths,
repeating its number, its identical sign.
How it is noted that stones have touched time,
in their refined matter, there is an odor of age,
of water brought by the sea, from salt and sleep.

I’m encircled by a single thing, a single movement:
a mineral weight, a honeyed light
cling to the sound of the word “Noche”:
the tint of wheat, of ivory, of tears,
things of leather, of wood, of wool,
archaic, faded, uniform,
collect around me like walls.

I work quietly, wheeling over myself,
a crow over death, a crow in mourning.
I mediate, isolated in the spread of seasons,
centric, encircled by a silent geometry:
a partial temperature drifts down from the sky,
a distant empire of confused unities
reunites encircling me.

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