From - Twenty Poems of Love. 1 If You Forget Me. 2 Tie Your Heart at Night to Mine. 3 Poetry Arrived.

4 Ode To Ironing. 5 Ode To Bird Watching. 5 Ode To The Book. 7 Ode to the Lemon. 9 I'll Explain some Things. 10 Ode To Clothing. 12 Ode To Olive Oil 14 Statues. 15 Opium in the East 17 Triangles. 17 Ode To Broken Things. 18 Beasts. 19

From - Twenty Poems of Love
I can write the saddest lines tonight. Write for example: ‘The night is fractured and they shiver, blue, those stars, in the distance’ The night wind turns in the sky and sings. I can write the saddest lines tonight. I loved her, sometimes she loved me too. On nights like these I held her in my arms. I kissed her greatly under the infinite sky.

She loved me, sometimes I loved her too. How could I not have loved her huge, still eyes. I can write the saddest lines tonight. To think I don’t have her, to feel I have lost her. Hear the vast night, vaster without her. Lines fall on the soul like dew on the grass. What does it matter that I couldn’t keep her. The night is fractured and she is not with me. That is all. Someone sings far off. Far off, my soul is not content to have lost her. As though to reach her, my sight looks for her. My heart looks for her: she is not with me

The same night whitens, in the same branches. We, from that time, we are not the same. I don’t love her, that’s certain, but how I loved her. My voice tried to find the breeze to reach her. Another’s kisses on her, like my kisses. Her voice, her bright body, infinite eyes. I don’t love her, that’s certain, but perhaps I love her. Love is brief: forgetting lasts so long. Since, on these nights, I held her in my arms, my soul is not content to have lost her.

Though this is the last pain she will make me suffer, and these are the last lines I will write for her.

If You Forget Me
I want you to know one thing. You know how this is: if I look at the crystal moon, at the red branch of the slow autumn at my window, if I touch near the fire the impalpable ash or the wrinkled body of the log, everything carries me to you, as if everything that exists, aromas, light, metals, were little boats that sail toward those isles of yours that wait for me. Well, now, if little by little you stop loving me I shall stop loving you little by little. If suddenly you forget me do not look for me,

for I shall already have forgotten you. If you think it long and mad, the wind of banners that passes through my life, and you decide to leave me at the shore of the heart where I have roots, remember that on that day, at that hour, I shall lift my arms and my roots will set off to seek another land. But if each day, each hour, you feel that you are destined for me with implacable sweetness, if each day a flower climbs up to your lips to seek me, ah my love, ah my own, in me all that fire is repeated, in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten, my love feeds on your love, beloved, and as long as you live it will be in your arms without leaving mine.

Tie Your Heart at Night to Mine

Tie your heart at night to mine, love, and both will defeat the darkness like twin drums beating in the forest against the heavy wall of wet leaves. Night crossing: black coal of dream that cuts the thread of earthly orbs with the punctuality of a headlong train that pulls cold stone and shadow endlessly. Love, because of it, tie me to a purer movement, to the grip on life that beats in your breast, with the wings of a submerged swan, So that our dream might reply to the sky's questioning stars with one key, one door closed to shadow. LXXIX From: ‘Cien sonetos de amor’

Poetry Arrived
And it was at that age...Poetry arrived in search of me. I don't know, I don't know where it came from, from winter or a river. I don't know how or when, no, they were not voices, they were not words, nor silence, but from a street I was summoned, from the branches of night,

abruptly from the others, among violent fires or returning alone, there I was without a face and it touched me. I did not know what to say, my mouth had no way with names my eyes were blind, and something started in my soul, fever or forgotten wings, and I made my own way, deciphering that fire and I wrote the first faint line, faint, without substance, pure nonsense, pure wisdom of someone who knows nothing, and suddenly I saw the heavens unfastened and open, planets, palpitating plantations, shadow perforated, riddled with arrows, fire and flowers, the winding night, the universe. And I, infinitesimal being, drunk with the great starry

void, likeness, image of mystery, I felt myself a pure part of the abyss, I wheeled with the stars, my heart broke free on the open sky.

Ode To Ironing
Poetry is white it comes dripping out of the water it gets wrinkled and piles up We have to stretch out the skin of this planet We have to iron the sea in its whiteness The hands go on and on and so things are made the hands make the world every day fire unites with steel linen, canvas and calico come back from combat in the laundry and from the light a dove is born purity comes back from the soap suds.

Ode To Bird Watching
Now Let's look for birds!

The tall iron branches in the forest, The dense fertility on the ground. The world is wet. A dewdrop or raindrop shines, a diminutive star among the leaves. The morning time mother earth is cool. The air is like a river which shakes the silence. It smells of rosemary, of space and roots. Overhead, a crazy song. It's a bird. How out of its throat smaller than a finger can there fall the waters of its song? Luminous ease! Invisible power torrent of music

in the leaves. Sacred conversations! Clean and fresh washed is this day resounding like a green dulcimer. I bury my shoes in the mud, jump over rivulets. A thorn bites me and a gust of air like a crystal wave splits up inside my chest. Where are the birds? Maybe it was that rustling in the foliage or that fleeting pellet of brown velvet or that displaced perfume? That leaf that let loose cinnamon smell - was that a bird? That dust from an irritated magnolia or that fruit which fell with a thump was that a flight? Oh, invisible little critters birds of the devil

with their ringing with their useless feathers. I only want to caress them, to see them resplendent. I don't want to see under glass the embalmed lightning. I want to see them living. I want to touch their gloves of real hide, which they never forget in the branches and to converse with them sitting on my shoulders although they may leave me like certain statues undeservedly whitewashed. Impossible. You can't touch them. You can hear them like a heavenly rustle or movement. They converse with precision. They repeat their observations. They brag of how much they do. They comment on everything that exists. They learn

certain sciences like hydrography. and by a sure science they know where there are harvests of grain.

Ode To The Book
When I close a book I open life. I hear faltering cries among harbours. Copper ignots slide down sand-pits to Tocopilla. Night time. Among the islands our ocean throbs with fish, touches the feet, the thighs, the chalk ribs of my country. The whole of night clings to its shores, by dawn it wakes up singing as if it had excited a guitar. The ocean's surge is calling. The wind

calls me and Rodriguez calls, and Jose Antonio-I got a telegram from the "Mine" Union and the one I love (whose name I won't let out) expects me in Bucalemu. No book has been able to wrap me in paper, to fill me up with typography, with heavenly imprints or was ever able to bind my eyes, I come out of books to people orchards with the hoarse family of my song, to work the burning metals or to eat smoked beef by mountain firesides. I love adventurous books, books of forest or snow, depth or sky but hate the spider book in which thought has laid poisonous wires to trap the juvenile and circling fly. Book, let me go. I won't go clothed

in volumes, I don't come out of collected works, my poems have not eaten poems-they devour exciting happenings, feed on rough weather, and dig their food out of earth and men. I'm on my way with dust in my shoes free of mythology: send books back to their shelves, I'm going down into the streets. I learned about life from life itself, love I learned in a single kiss and could teach no one anything except that I have lived with something in common among men, when fighting with them, when saying all their say in my song.

Ode to the Lemon
From those lemon flowers Set free By the light of the moon From that Odor of a love

Frustrated, Sunken in fragrance, There came From the Lemon tree its yellow, From its planetary system The lemons came down to the earth. Tender merchandise! Our shores filled up with it, The markets Of light, of gold From a tree, And we open up The two halves Of a miracle, Congealed acid Which ran From the hemispheres Of a star And the most profound liquor In nature, Unchanging, alive, Indestructible, Born from the freshness Of the lemon, From its fragrant house, From its acid, secret symmetry. Inside the lemon the knives Cut A small Cathedral, The window hidden behind the altars

Opened to the light its glassy acids, And in drops Like topazes they were dripped Onto the altars By the architecture of freshness. So when your hand Squeezes the hemisphere Of the cut Lemon onto your plate, A universe of gold, You have poured out One Yellow cup Full of miracles One of the sweet-smelling nipples Of the breast of the earth, A ray of light that became a fruit, The diminutive fire of a planet

I'll Explain some Things
You’ll ask, Where are the lilacs? And the philosophy dreamy with poppies? And the rain which kept beating out Your words, filling them With water-specks and birds? I’m going to tell you everything that happened to me. I lived in a neighborhood In Madrid with church bells

And clock towers and trees. From there you could see The dry face of Castille Like a sea of leather My house was called “The house with the flowers” because around it Geraniums exploded. It was A beautiful house With dogs and kids. Raúl, do you remember? Frederico, do you still remember Under the ground? Do you remember my house with the balconies Where the June light soaked your mouth with The taste of flowers? Brother! Brother! The market place of Arguelles, my neighborhood With its statue like a pale inkwell among The fish stalls. It was all Loud voices, salty commerce, A deep rumble Of feet and hands filled the streets, Meters and liters, The sharp essence of life, Fish stacked up, The texture of roofs in the cold sun in which The weather-vane grows tired. Fine, crazily carved ivory of potatoes Lines of tomatoes to the sea.

Then one morning flames Came out of the ground Devouring human beings. From then on fire, Gunpowder from then on, From then on blood. Bandits with airplanes and Moorish troops Bandits with gold rings and duchesses Bandits with black monks giving their blessing Came across the sky to kill children And through the streets, the blood of children Ran simply, like children’s blood does. Jackals that a jackal would reject Stones that a dry thistle would bite and spit out Vipers that vipers would hate! I have seen the blood Of Spain rise up against you To drown you in a single wave Of pride and knives! Generals Traitors Look at my dead home Look at broken Spain – But from each dead house Burning metal shoots out Instead of flowers. From every shell-hole in Spain Spain will rise. From every dead child a rifle with Eyes will rise.

From every crime bullets will be born Which will one day find a place In your hearts. You ask “Why doesn’t your poetry Speak to us of dreams and leaves Of the great volcanoes of your native land?” Come See the blood along the streets Come see The blood along the streets Come see the blood Along the Streets! (Translator’s note: This poem is about the Spanish Civil War from 1936 to 1939. Neruda was working in the Chilean Embassy in Spain when the civil war began. In 1936 the Popular Front government, which included Communists, was elected in Spain. All but six officers in the army refused to serve under the Popular Front. With the support of the Catholic Church four Spanish generals led an uprising against the Popular Front. Many of the troops in the uprising were Moorish, from the Spanish colony in Morocco. Also Nazi Germany supported the uprising and tried out its new air force in bombing raids against those regions of Spain still controlled by the Popular Front. The uprising succeeded and General Francisco Franco became dictator of Spain until his death in 1976.)

Ode To Clothing
Each morning you’re waiting My clothing, on a chair For me to fill you With my vanity, my love My hope, my body I hardly

Have gotten out of sleep I say goodbye to the water I enter into your sleeves My legs look for The hollowness of your legs And so embraced By your tireless faithfulness I go out to walk in the grass I enter into poetry I look through windows At things Men, women, Deeds and struggles Keep forming me Keep coming against me Laboring with my hands Opening my eyes Using up my mouth And so, Clothing, I also keep forming you Poking out your elbows Snapping your threads And so your life grows Into the image of my live. In the wind You ripple and rustle As if you were my soul. In bad minutes You stick To my bones Empty, through the night Darkness, sleep

Populate with their fantasies Your wings and mine. I ask If one day A bullet From the enemy Might leave a spot of my blood on you And then You would die with me Or maybe It won’t all be So dramatic But simple And you’ll just get feeble, Clothing, Growing old With me, with my body And together We will enter The earth. That’s why Every day I greet you With reverence and then You embrace me and I forget you Because we are just one And we’ll keep going on together Against the wind, in the night The streets, or the struggle One single body May be, may be, some time will be immobile.

Ode To Olive Oil
Near the murmuring In the grain fields, of the waves Of wind in the oat-stalks The olive tree With its silver-covered mass Severe in its lines In its twisted Heart in the earth: The graceful Olives Polished By the hands Which made The dove And the oceanic Snail: Green, Inumerable, Immaculate Nipples Of nature And there In The dry Olive Groves Where Alone The blue sky with cicadas And the hard earth Exist

There The prodigy The perfect Capsules Of the olives Filling With their constellations, the foliage Then later, The bowls, The miracle, The olive oil. I love The homelands of olive oil The olive groves Of Chacabuco, in Chile In the morning Feathers of platinum Forests of them Against the wrinkled Mountain ranges. In Anacapri, up above, Over the light of the Italian sea Is the despair of olive trees And on the map of Europe Spain A black basketfull of olives Dusted off by orange blossoms As if by a sea breeze Olive oil, The internal supreme Condition for the cooking pot Pedestal for game birds Heavenly key to mayonaise

Smoothe and tasty Over the lettuce And supernatural in the hell Of the king mackerals like archbishops Our chorus With Intimate Powerful smoothness You sing: You are the Spanish Laguage There are syllables of olive oil There are words Useful and rich-smelling Like your fragrant material It's not only wine that sings Olive oil sings too It lives in us with its ripe light And among the good things of the earth I set apart Olive oil, Your ever-flowing peace, your green essence Your heaped-up treasure which descends In streams from the olive tree.

The pigeons visited Pushkin And pecked at his melancholy The gray bronze statue talks to the pigeons With all the patience of bronze.

The modern pigeons Don't understand him The language of birds now Is different. They make droppings on Pushkin Then fly to Mayakovsky. His statue seems to be of lead. He seems to have been Made of bullets. They didn't sculpt his tenderness Just his beautiful arrogance. If he is a wrecker Of tender things How can he live among violets In the moonlight In love? Something is always missing in these statues Which are fixed rigidly in the direction of their times. Either they are slashed Into the air with a combat knife Or they are left seated Transformed into a tourist in a garden. And other people, tired of riding horseback No longer can dismount and eat there. Statues are really bitter things Because time piles up In deposits on them, oxidizing them And even the flowers come to cover Their cold feet. The flowers aren't kisses. They've also come there to die.

White birds in the daytime And poets at night And a great ring of shoes surrounding The iron Mayakovosky And his frightful bronze jacket And his iron unsmiling mouth. One time when it was late and I was almost asleep On the edge of the river, far off in the city I could hear the verses rising, the psalms Of the reciters in succession. Was Mayakovsky listening? Do statues listen?

Opium in the East
Excerpt Starting at Singapore it smelled of opium The good Englishman knew what he was doing At world conferences he thundered Against the secret drug-lords And in his colonies every port sent up a cloud of authorized smoke with an official number and a juicy franchise. The official gentleman in London dressed like a spotless nightingale (with striped pants and a shirt starched into armor) A nightingale trilling against the pusher in the shadows. But here in the Orient

the gentleman unmasked

Three triangles of birds crossed Over the enormous ocean which extended In winter like a green beast. Everything just lay there, the silence, The unfolding gray, the heavy light Of space, some land now and then. Over everything there was passing A flight And another flight Of dark birds, winter bodies Trembling triangles Whose wings, Frantically flapping, hardly Can carry the gray cold, the desolate days From one place to another Along the coast of Chile. I am here while from one sky to another The trembling of the migratory birds Leaves me sunk inside myself, inside my own matter Like an everlasting well Dug by an immovable spiral. Now they have disappeared Black feathers of the sea Iron birds From steep slopes and rock piles Now at noon

I am in front of emptiness. It’s a winter Space stretched out And the sea has put Over its blue face A bitter mask.

Ode To Broken Things
Things get broken at home like they were pushed by an invisible, deliberate smasher. It's not my hands or yours It wasn't the girls with their hard fingernails or the motion of the planet. It wasn't anything or anybody It wasn't the wind It wasn't the orange-colored noontime Or night over the earth It wasn't even the nose or the elbow Or the hips getting bigger or the ankle or the air. The plate broke, the lamp fell All the flower pots tumbled over one by one. That pot which overflowed with scarlet in the middle of October,

it got tired from all the violets and another empty one rolled round and round and round all through winter until it was only the powder of a flowerpot, a broken memory, shining dust. And that clock whose sound was the voice of our lives, the secret thread of our weeks, which released one by one, so many hours for honey and silence for so many births and jobs, that clock also fell and its delicate blue guts vibrated among the broken glass its wide heart unsprung. Life goes on grinding up glass, wearing out clothes making fragments breaking down forms and what lasts through time is like an island on a ship in the sea,

perishable surrounded by dangerous fragility by merciless waters and threats. Let's put all our treasures together -- the clocks, plates, cups cracked by the cold -into a sack and carry them to the sea and let our possessions sink into one alarming breaker that sounds like a river. May whatever breaks be reconstructed by the sea with the long labor of its tides. So many useless things which nobody broke but which got broken anyway.

It was the nightfall of the iguana from his rainbow-colored crest his tongue like a dart sank into the greenery The monastic ant colony stepped with musical feet through the jungle. The wild llama, as delicate as oxygen in the wide brown high country went walking in his golden boots while the tame llama opened his candid eyes onto the daintiness

of a world filled with dew. The monkeys braided an endless erotic thread along the shores of daybreak bringing down walls of pollen and frightening the violet flight of butterflies on the river. It was the night of the alligators the pure, pulsing night of snouts sticking out of slime and from the drowsy swamps the dull noise of scale armor goes back to the origin of the earth. The jaguar touched the leaves with his glowing absence. The puma runs through the thicket like a devouring fire while in him are burning the alcoholic eyes of the jungle. Badgers are scrabbling the banks of the river, sniffing at a nest full of living delicacies which they will attack with red teeth. And in the depth of the great water like the circle of the earth is the giant anaconda covered with ceremonial paint, devouring and religious.

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