Neftali Ricardo Reyes Basoalto

aka Pablo Neruda born July 12, 1904

Canto XII from The Heights of Macchu Picchu

Arise to birth with me, my brother.
Give me your hand out of the depths
sown by your sorrows.
You will not return from these stone fastnesses.
You will not emerge from subterranean time.
Your rasping voice will not come back,
nor your pierced eyes rise from their sockets.

Look at me from the depths of the earth,
tiller of fields, weaver, reticent shepherd,
groom of totemic guanacos,
mason high on your treacherous scaffolding,
iceman of Andean tears,
jeweler with crushed fingers,
farmer anxious among his seedlings,
potter wasted among his clays–
bring to the cup of this new life
your ancient buried sorrows.
Show me your blood and your furrow;
say to me: here I was scourged
because a gem was dull or because the earth
failed to give up in time its tithe of corn or stone.
Point out to me the rock on which you stumbled,
the wood they used to crucify your body.
Strike the old flints
to kindle ancient lamps, light up the whips
glued to your wounds throughout the centuries
and light the axes gleaming with your blood.

I come to speak for your dead mouths.

Throughout the earth
let dead lips congregate,
out of the depths spin this long night to me
as if I rode at anchor here with you.

And tell me everything, tell chain by chain,
and link by link, and step by step;
sharpen the knives you kept hidden away,
thrust them into my breast, into my hands,
like a torrent of sunbursts,
an Amazon of buried jaguars,
and leave me cry: hours, days and years,
blind ages, stellar centuries.

And give me silence, give me water, hope.

Give me the struggle, the iron, the volcanoes.

Let bodies cling like magnets to my body.

Come quickly to my veins and to my mouth.

Speak through my speech, and through my blood.

EDIT: you can add to this mix, my all time favorite sonnet

SONETO XLV

No estés lejos de mí un solo día, porque cómo,
porque, no sé decirlo, es largo el día,
y te estaré esperando como en las estaciones
cuando en alguna parte se durmieron los trenes.

No te vayas por una hora porque entonces
en esa hora se juntan las gotas del desvelo
y tal vez todo el humo que anda buscando casa
venga a matar aún mi corazón perdido.

Ay que no se quebrante tu silueta en la arena,
ay que no vuelen tus párpados en la ausencia:
no te vayas por un minuto, bienamada,

porque en ese minuto te habrás ido tan lejos
que yo cruzaré toda la tierra preguntando
si volverás o si me dejarás muriendo.

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1 Comment

  1. jus adding to tha mix.

    Soneto XVII

    No te amo como si fueras rosa de sal, topacio
    o flecha de claveles que propagan el fuego:
    te amo como se aman ciertas cosas oscuras,
    secretamente, entre la sombra y el alma.

    Te amo como la planta que no florece y lleva
    dentro de sí, escondida, la luz de aquellas flores,
    y gracias a tu amor vive oscuro en mi cuerpo
    el apretado aroma que ascendió de la tierra.

    Te amo sin saber cómo, ni cuándo, ni de dónde,
    te amo directamente sin problemas ni orgullo:
    así te amo porque no sé amar de otra manera,

    sino así de este modo en que no soy ni eres,
    tan cerca que tu mano sobre mi pecho es mía,
    tan cerca que se cierran tus ojos con mi sueño.

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