Saturday, January 10, 2009

i like for you to be still

i like for you to be still
it is as though you are absent
and you hear me from far away
and my voice does not touch you
it seems as though your eyes had flown away
and it seems that a kiss had sealed your mouth
as all things are filled with my soul
you emerge from the things
filled with my soul
you are like my soul
a butterfly of dream
and you are like the word: melancholy

i like for you to be still
and you seem far away
it sounds as though you are lamenting
a butterfly cooing like a dove
and you hear me from far away
and my voice does not reach you
let me come to be still in your silence
and let me talk to you with your silence
that is bright as a lamp
simple, as a ring
you are like the night
with its stillness and constellations
your silence is that of a star
as remote and candid

i like for you to be still
it is as though you are absent
distant and full of sorrow
so you would've died
one word then, one smile is enough
and i'm happy;
happy that it's not true

pablo neruda

i read this as a love poem, but not a love poem a man might share with a woman but with the allness of everything. in the distance between my self and everything there's a space defined by the noise of memory and expectation. my work is to quieten - not subdue or pocket - but to quieten that noise.

it's in that silence that love can flourish.


  1. Great poem! But this translation really doesn't do it justice. I recommend the translation published in "The Essential Neruda." And if you really like Neruda, check out Red Poppy at It's a non-profit set up to create a documentary about Neruda, publish his biography, and translate his works into English.

  2. katia, thanks for your visit and especially for your comments and thoughts. thankyou also for the link to red poppy.
    i really love writing that comes from the metaphorically far away, gives a clear picture of its source and includes a bit of a map. neruda hits all three - his writing is often breathtaking and transformative.
    to help enrich this writing and my reading, i have ordered a copy of "the essential neruda."