from Ode to the guitar by Pablo Neruda

O rich solitude
that arrives with the night,
solitude like bread made of earth,
solitude sung by the river of guitars!
The world shrinks
to a single drop
of honey, or one star,
and through the leaves everything in blue:
trembling, all of heaven
. . . . . . . . . . .sings.

And the woman who plays
both earth and guitar
bears in her voice
the mourning
and the joy
of the most poignant moment.
Time and distance
fall away from the guitar.
We are a dream,
an unfinished
song.
The untamed heart
rides back roads on horseback:
over and over again it dreams of the night, of silence,
over and over again it sings of the earth, of its guitar.

translated by Ken Krabbenhoft

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