Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sonnet No 6 From - One Hundred Love Sonnets by Pablo Neruda

When I was recently in Wellington attending the 'Monet and the Impressionists' exhibition I made a valuable purchase. It is this very large tome of poetry by one of my most favourite poets, the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. This is what a contemporary and friend of Neruda said of him:

"And I tell you that you should open yourselves to hearing an authentic poet, of the kind whose bodily senses were shaped in a world that is not our own and that few people are able to perceive. A poet closer to death than to philosophy, closer to pain than to intelligence, closer to blood than to ink." - Federico Garcia Lorca

LOVE SONNET NO 6 - Pablo Neruda

In the forests, lost, I cut a dark stick
and lifted its whisper to my thirsty lips:
perhaps it was the voice of crying rain,
a broken bell, or a torn heart.

Something that from so far away seemed
seriously hidden to me, covered by the earth,
a cry deafened by immense autumns,
by the darkness of the leaves, humid and ajar.

But there, waking from the dreams of the forest,
the hazel branch sung below my mouth
and its roaming odor climbed to my view

as if the roots which I had abandoned, the land
lost with my childhood, suddenly came searching for me,
and I stopped, wounded by the wandering aroma.



Katia Shtefan said...

"Wounded by the wandering aroma"! Only Neruda could put so much life into a stick.

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

Alden said...

Katia, Do I really like Neruda? - is the sky blue on a cloudless day? - many thanks for the links, I will check them out!