Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Ars Poetica

Between dark and the void, between virgins and garrisons,
with my singular heart and my mournful conceits
for my portion, my forehead despoiled, overtaken by pallors,
a grief-maddened widower bereft of a lifetime;
for every invisible drop that I taste in a stupor, alas,
for each intonation I concentrate, shuddering,
I keep the identical thirst of an absence, the identical chill
of a fever; sounds, coming to be; a devious anguish
as of thieves and chimeras approaching;
so, in the shell of extension, profound and unaltering,
demeaned as a kitchen-drudge, like a bell sounding
like a tarnishing mirror, or the smell of a house's abandon-
where the guests stagger homeward, blind drunk, in the
and the reek of their clothes rises out of the floor, an absence
of flowers-
could it be differently put, a little less ruefully, possibly?-
All the truth blurted out: wind strikes at my breast like a
the ineffable body of night, fallen into my bedroom,
the roar of a morning ablaze with some sacrifice,
that begs my prophetical utterance, mournfully;
an impact of objects that call and encounter no answer,
unrest without respite, an anomalous name.

Pablo Neruda translated by Ben Belitt

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