2 years ago
WordDoctor
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Daily Neruda: Walking Around
This is one of my top 5 favorite poems by Pablo Neruda. I also included a link to a fantastic reading of the poem by Samuel L. Jackson from the Il Postino movie soundtrack (you would love it, @timeturnerjones!). Il Postino is a beautiful move through which you can learn a lot about love, Pablo Neruda and the heart of poetry in everyday life. "Walking Around" By Pablo Neruda Translated by Robert Bly It so happens I am sick of being a man. And it happens that I walk into tailorshops and movie houses dried up, waterproof, like a swan made of felt steering my way in a water of wombs and ashes. The smell of barbershops makes me break into hoarse sobs. The only thing I want is to lie still like stones or wool. The only thing I want is to see no more stores, no gardens, no more goods, no spectacles, no elevators. It so happens that I am sick of my feet and my nails and my hair and my shadow. It so happens I am sick of being a man. Still it would be marvelous to terrify a law clerk with a cut lily, or kill a nun with a blow on the ear. It would be great to go through the streets with a green knife letting out yells until I died of the cold. I don't want to go on being a root in the dark, insecure, stretched out, shivering with sleep, going on down, into the moist guts of the earth, taking in and thinking, eating every day. I don't want so much misery. I don't want to go on as a root and a tomb, alone under the ground, a warehouse with corpses, half frozen, dying of grief. That's why Monday, when it sees me coming with my convict face, blazes up like gasoline, and it howls on its way like a wounded wheel, and leaves tracks full of warm blood leading toward the night. And it pushes me into certain corners, into some moist houses, into hospitals where the bones fly out the window, into shoeshops that smell like vinegar, and certain streets hideous as cracks in the skin. There are sulphur-colored birds, and hideous intestines hanging over the doors of houses that I hate, and there are false teeth forgotten in a coffeepot, there are mirrors that ought to have wept from shame and terror, there are umbrellas everywhere, and venoms, and umbilical cords. I stroll along serenely, with my eyes, my shoes, my rage, forgetting everything, I walk by, going through office buildings and orthopedic shops, and courtyards with washing hanging from the line: underwear, towels and shirts from which slow dirty tears are falling. "Walking Around" By Pablo Neruda (Original Spanish) Sucede que me canso de ser hombre. Sucede que entro en las sastrerías y en los cines marchito, impenetrable, como un cisne de fieltro Navegando en un agua de origen y ceniza. El olor de las peluquerías me hace llorar a gritos. Sólo quiero un descanso de piedras o de lana, sólo quiero no ver establecimientos ni jardines, ni mercaderías, ni anteojos, ni ascensores. Sucede que me canso de mis pies y mis uñas y mi pelo y mi sombra. Sucede que me canso de ser hombre. Sin embargo sería delicioso asustar a un notario con un lirio cortado o dar muerte a una monja con un golpe de oreja. Sería bello ir por las calles con un cuchillo verde y dando gritos hasta morir de frío No quiero seguir siendo raíz en las tinieblas, vacilante, extendido, tiritando de sueño, hacia abajo, en las tapias mojadas de la tierra, absorbiendo y pensando, comiendo cada día. No quiero para mí tantas desgracias. No quiero continuar de raíz y de tumba, de subterráneo solo, de bodega con muertos ateridos, muriéndome de pena. Por eso el día lunes arde como el petróleo cuando me ve llegar con mi cara de cárcel, y aúlla en su transcurso como una rueda herida, y da pasos de sangre caliente hacia la noche. Y me empuja a ciertos rincones, a ciertas casas húmedas, a hospitales donde los huesos salen por la ventana, a ciertas zapaterías con olor a vinagre, a calles espantosas como grietas. Hay pájaros de color de azufre y horribles intestinos colgando de las puertas de las casas que odio, hay dentaduras olvidadas en una cafetera, hay espejos que debieran haber llorado de vergüenza y espanto, hay paraguas en todas partes, y venenos, y ombligos. Yo paseo con calma, con ojos, con zapatos, con furia, con olvido, paso, cruzo oficinas y tiendas de ortopedia, y patios donde hay ropas colgadas de un alambre: calzoncillos, toallas y camisas que lloran lentas lágrimas sucias.
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Thanks for linking the Samuel L. Jackson reading; that was fantastic! I will have to check out the movie; I haven't seen it before.
Such a great poem. Neruda is one of my favorites. He captures emotion so well...the frustration...being overwhelmed by the darkness in humanity and in the world around us. Love this collection @WordDoctor !
Thanks, @TechAtHeart! I'm so glad you're enjoying them. Now I just need to try to live up to the "Daily" part.. ahem...