The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review
littlereview

Poem for Wednesday and <lj comm


Nothing But Death
By Pablo Neruda
Translated by Robert Bly


There are cemeteries that are lonely,
graves full of bones that do not make a sound,
the heart moving through a tunnel,
in it darkness, darkness, darkness,
like a shipwreck we die going into ourselves,
as though we were drowning inside our hearts,
as though we lived falling out of the skin into the soul.

And there are corpses,
feet made of cold and sticky clay,
death is inside the bones,
like a barking where there are no dogs,
coming out from bells somewhere, from graves somewhere,
growing in the damp air like tears of rain.

Sometimes I see alone
coffins under sail,
embarking with the pale dead, with women that have dead hair,
with bakers who are as white as angels,
and pensive young girls married to notary publics,
caskets sailing up the vertical river of the dead,
the river of dark purple,
moving upstream with sails filled out by the sound of death,
filled by the sound of death which is silence.

Death arrives among all that sound
like a shoe with no foot in it, like a suit with no man in it,
comes and knocks, using a ring with no stone in it, with no
          finger in it,
comes and shouts with no mouth, with no tongue, with no
          throat.
Nevertheless its steps can be heard
and its clothing makes a hushed sound, like a tree.

I'm not sure, I understand only a little, I can hardly see,
but it seems to me that its singing has the color of damp violets,
of violets that are at home in the earth,
because the face of death is green,
and the look death gives is green,
with the penetrating dampness of a violet leaf
and the somber color of embittered winter.

But death also goes through the world dressed as a broom,
lapping the floor, looking for dead bodies,
death is inside the broom,
the broom is the tongue of death looking for corpses,
it is the needle of death looking for thread.

Death is inside the folding cots:
it spends its life sleeping on the slow mattresses,
in the black blankets, and suddenly breathes out:
it blows out a mournful sound that swells the sheets,
and the beds go sailing toward a port
where death is waiting, dressed like an admiral.

--------


wednesday100: Frozen, for the weather challenge. (Yes, Madonna soundtrack.)

Still here. Still sad. My son's deceased teacher was a big supporter of Guiding Eyes For the Blind and had raised puppies for them, so I wanted to give them a plug here. She loved children and animals and they loved her. My son is rather a high-maintenance student -- extremely bright and extremely distractible -- and she was just phenomenal with him, giving him the time he needed.

Must do lots of work today -- editor sent lots of trivial Trek news to cover. Had a contrelamontre bunny but it must wait. Gacked from cupiscent among others:
Gryffindor!
Gryffindor! Fun-loving and ballsy down to the last
detail, you follow rules when it's convenient
for you and never turn down an opportunity to
par-tay. You're loud, mischievous, and a little
naive at times, but never let your awesome
self-confidence waver. Like Slytherin, you too
appreciate the finer things in life...just in a
very...different way.
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