A Poem For Sunday

Andrew Sullivan —  Jun 24 2012 @ 5:50pm


"Oneness" by Pablo Neruda, translated by Stephen Kessler:

There's something dense, united, sitting in the background, 
repeating its number, its identical signal. 
How clear it is that stones have handled time, 
in their fine substance there's the smell of age, 
and water the sea brings, salty and sleepy. 

Just one thing surrounds me, a single motion: 
the weight of rocks, the light of skin, 
fasten themselves to the sound of the word night: 
the tones of wheat, of ivory, of tears, 
things made of leather, of wood, of wool 
aging, fading, blurring, 
come together around me like a wall. 

Continued here. In 1971, Neruda spoke to the Paris Review:

My poetry has passed through the same stages as my life; from a solitary childhood and an adolescence cornered in distant, isolated countries, I set out to make myself a part of the great human multitude. My life matured, and that is all. It was in the style of the last century for poets to be tormented melancholiacs. But there can be poets who know life, who know its problems, and who survive by crossing through the currents. And who pass through sadness to plenitude.

(Yayoi Kusama's installation Fireflies on the Water via My Modern Met)