The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Monday and SeaWorld Penguin

Magellanic Penguin
By Pablo Neruda
Translated by Jack Schmitt

Neither clown nor child nor black
nor white but verticle
and a questioning innocence
dressed in night and snow:
The mother smiles at the sailor,
the fisherman at the astronaunt,
but the child child does not smile
when he looks at the bird child,
and from the disorderly ocean
the immaculate passenger
emerges in snowy mourning.

I was without doubt the child bird
there in the cold archipelagoes
when it looked at me with its eyes,
with its ancient ocean eyes:
it had neither arms nor wings
but hard little oars
on its sides:
it was as old as the salt;
the age of moving water,
and it looked at me from its age:
since then I know I do not exist;
I am a worm in the sand.

the reasons for my respect
remained in the sand:
the religious bird
did not need to fly,
did not need to sing,
and through its form was visible
its wild soul bled salt:
as if a vein from the bitter sea
had been broken.

Penguin, static traveler,
deliberate priest of the cold,
I salute your vertical salt
and envy your plumed pride.


My Sunday involved watching the World Cup final (I was rooting for Croatia because they beat Russia, but I do like France), plus lots and lots of laundries. We went out in the afternoon to get some stuff at Target, Kohl's, and Giant, during which I ran into my Pokemon raiding group and caught Lugia, but it rained while we were at Washingtonian so I didn't even get to walk around the lake.

In the evening we watched this week's Succession and the first episode of A Very English Scandal -- the former twisted and depressing, the latter darkly funny and extremely well acted. Someone on Facebook asked me ten years ago for photos from our trip on this day to (pre-boycott) SeaWorld for a penguin encounter as an early birthday present for younger son, so here are photos:









  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded