from Bestiary by Pablo Neruda

Frogs, soft, raucous, sonorous–
I always wanted to be a frog,
I always loved the pools and the leaves
slender as filaments,
the green world of watercress
with the frogs lords of the sky.

The serenade of frogs
starts in my dream and illumines it,
starts up like a climbing plant
to the balconies of my childhood,
to my cousin’s growing nipples,
to the astronomic jasmine
of black Southern nights,
and now that time has passed,
let them not ask after the sky;
it seems I still haven’t learned
the harsh speech of frogs.

If all this is so, how am I a poet?
What do I know of the complex
geography of the night?

translated by Alastair Reid

2 thoughts on “from Bestiary by Pablo Neruda

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