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I'm a Minnesota Girl, living in the south. I tell my friends I try not to talk and think like a Yankee, but sometimes I slip up!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Amazing Pablo Neruda

He wrote this in 1959. I was 5. Half a century later, here it is again.


When I die, I want your hands on my eyes:
I want the light and the wheat of your beloved hands
to pass their freshness over me once more:
I want to feel the softness that changed my destiny.

I want you to live while I wait for you, asleep.
I want your ears still to hear the wind,
I want you to sniff the sea's aroma that we loved together,
to continue to walk on the sand we walk on.
I want what I love to continue to live,
and you whom I love and sang above everything else
to continue to flourish, full-flowered:
so that you can reach everything my love directs you to,
so that my shadow can travel along in your hair,
so that everything can learn the reason for my song.

~Pablo Neruda



Pam said...

Oh my, I do love this poem! The imagery is like a mournful caress, a gentle yearning.

Somehow I think I've read him before... hmmm.. I need to check.

Kelly said...

Ooooo! This one's really good!

I'm so glad y'all have inspired me to enjoy poetry!

Marion said...

Neruda never fails to inspire!

Katia Shtefan said...

"Mournful caress" is a good description...although I think that this poem is mournful in a way that is serious and melancholy, but not somber and pessimistic. It is ultimately about life's continuation.

If you really like Neruda, check out Red Poppy at It's a non-profit set up to publish Neruda's biography, create a documentary about him and translate his works into English. Also, to see our blog on Neruda's literary activism, click on "Journal."