from Itineraries by Pablo Neruda

Suddenly, as I am walking,
from somewhere there emerges
the smell of stone or rain,
something so infinitely pure
which comes from somewhere or other,
and talks to me without words;
and I recognize a mouth
which is not there, which goes on talking.
I look for the source of that aura–
from what city, from what journey–
I know that someone is looking for me,
someone is lost in the darkness.
And I don’t know, if someone has kissed me,
what those kisses could mean.

Perhaps I have put myself in order,
beginning with my head.
I’m going to divide into numbered squares
my brain and my cerebellum,
and when a memory crops up
I will say ‘a hundred and something’.
Then I will recognize
the wall and the climbing vine,
and perhaps I’ll entertain myself
giving names to forgotten things.
In any case, here
I propose to end all this,
and before going back to Brazil
by way of Antofagasta,
in Isla Negra I am waiting
between yesterday and Valparaisio.

translated by Alastair Reid

“The world only exists in your eyes. You can make it as big or as small as you want”

from Douglas Moore’s Art of Quotation

Art of Quotation

“The world only exists in your eyes. You can make it as big or as small as you want”

F. Scott Fitzgerald, writer


F. Scott Fitzgerald (2015). “The Complete Works of F. Scott Fitzgerald: Novels, Short Stories, Poetry, Articles, Letters, Plays & Screenplays: From the author of The Great Gatsby, The Side of Paradise, Tender Is the Night, The Beautiful and Damned, The Love of the Last Tycoon, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and many other notable works”, p.3094, e-artnow

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from This is where we live by Pablo Neruda

I am grateful to the earth
for having waited
for me
when sky and sea came together
like two lips touching;
for that’s no small thing, no?–
to have lived
through one solitude to arrive at another,
to feel oneself many things and recover wholeness.

I love all the things there are,
and of all fires
love is the only inexhaustible one;
and that’s why I go from life to life,
from guitar to guitar,
and I have no fear
of light or of shade,
and almost being earth myself,
I spoon away at infinity.

So no one can ever fail
to find my doorless numberless house–
there between dark stones,
facing the flash
of the violent salt,
there we live, my woman and I,
there we take root.
Grant us help then.
Help us to be more of the earth each day!
Help us to be
more the sacred foam,
more the swish of the wave!

translated by Alastair Reid

from Enigmas by Pablo Neruda

I want to tell you the ocean knows this, that life in its jewel boxes
is endless as the sand, impossible to count, pure,
and among the blood-colored grapes time has made the petal
hard and shiny, made the jellyfish full of light
and untied its knot, letting its musical threads fall
from a horn of plenty made of infinite mother-of-pearl.
I am nothing but the empty net which has gone on ahead
of human eyes, dead in those darknesses,
of fingers accustomed to the triangle, longitudes
on the timid globe of an orange.

I walked around as you do, investigating
the endless star,
and in my net, during the night, I woke up naked,
the only thing caught, a fish trapped inside the wind.

translated by Robert Bly