from Ode To A Dog by Pablo Neruda

The dog is asking me a question
and I have no answers.
He dashes through the countryside and asks me
wordlessly,
and his eyes
are two moist question marks, two wet
inquiring flames,
but I do not answer
because I haven’t got the answer.
I have nothing to say.

Dog and man: together we roam
the open countryside.

Leaves shine as
if someone
had kissed them
one by one,
orange trees
rise up from the earth
raising
minute planetariums
in trees that are as rounded
and green as the night,
while we roam together, dog and man
sniffing everything, jostling clover
in the countryside of Chile,
cradled by the bright fingers of September.
The dog makes stops,
chases bees,
leaps over restless water,
listens to far-off
barking,
pees on a rock,
and presents me the tip of his snout
as if it were a gift:
it is the freshness of his love,
his message of love.
And he asks me
with both eyes:
why is it daytime? why does night always fall?
why does the spring bring
nothing
in its basket
for wandering dogs
but useless flowers,
flowers and more flowers?
This is how the dog
asks questions
and I do not reply.

32 thoughts on “from Ode To A Dog by Pablo Neruda

  1. Beautiful poem. This was my daughter Kaitlyn’s most favorite poet. Her favorite line in a poem was, “Give me silence, water, hope. Give me struggle, iron, volcanoes.”
    — Pablo Neruda

    You know, she took her own life 4-11-13 while in medical school. Brillance no longer here. Thank you for the poem. Rhonda

  2. Thanks for finding me. I love this poem. I have a dog. He is my first one and i never understood this kind of communication before. Leave it to Pablo to find the right words. I see you have poems by some of my favorite poets. Im following you know so I look forward to your beautiful choice of poems and writing. I love Istanbul and you are lucky to live in such a beautiful spiritual place. Weirdly one of my favorite paintings “The Turtle Trainer ” by Osman Hamedi Bey is there and I’m obsessed with the architect Sinan and the food.

    • That painting is very well known here and if you’re obsessed with Sinan, Istanbul is the city to visit. I’m in Izmir now but moving back to Istanbul in May. As for dogs, I still miss mine (gone now over 20 years ago) but have a cat for the last seven years, which is another story. Anyway, I look forward to seeing more of your posts in the future.

  3. I began reading Neruda as a very young man. His perceptions and feelings evoked by his poetry are seldom matched. For anyone unfamiliar with his work, I suggest you pick up one of his books, find a quiet place and take a journey into the imaginative and real power of words. I am awed by his imagery, his works are such a gift to the world.

  4. Pingback: AB’s Awesomeness Award – Thank you all | Perspectives on Life, the Universe and Everything

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