Saturday, October 21, 2006

Today is a day for poetry. Years ago a poet died. It doesn’t matter too much which one. Poets die. This one was dying for years until the job was finished properly in a Florida hospital. His death day is a marker for poets of his breed who too have died or will. I believe . . . yes . . . I believe it is a day for sentimentality and not for such dark tones of loss.

How about this from another dead poet:

Sonnet V – Pablo Neruda

I did not hold your night, or your air, or the dawn:
only the earth, the truth of the fruit in clusters,
the apples that swell as they drink the sweet water,
the clay and resins of your sweet smelling land.

From Quinchamali where your eyes began
to the Frontera where your feet were made for me,
you are my dark familiar clay:
holding your hips, I hold the wheat in its field again.

Woman from Arauco, maybe you didn't know
how before I loved you I forgot your kisses.
But my heart went on, rememebering your mouth - and I went on

and on through the streets like a man wounded,
until I understood, Love: I had found
my place, a land of kisses and volcanoes.

--translation by Stephen Tapscott

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