Three Poems By Pablo Neruda | Tres poemas de Pablo Neruda

pablo_neruda

English | Spanish

Translated by Donald D. Walsh

The mountain and the river

In my country there is a mountain.
In my country there is a river.

Come with me.

Night climbs up to the mountain.
Hunger goes down to the river.

Come with me.

Who are those who suffer?
I do not know, but they are my people.

Come with me.

I do not know, but they call to me
and they say to me: “We suffer.”

Come with me.

And they say to me: “Your people,
your luckless people,
between the mountain and the river,
with hunger and grief,
they do not want to struggle alone,
they are waiting for you, friend.”

Oh you, the one I love,
little one, red grain
of wheat,

the struggle will be hard,
life will be hard,
but you will come with me.

Poverty

Ah you don’t want to,
you’re scared
of poverty,
you don’t want
to go to the market with worn-out shoes
and come back with the same old dress.

My love, we are not fond
as the rich would like us to be,
of misery. We
shall extract it like an evil tooth
that up to now has bitten the heart of man.

But I don’t want
you to fear it.
If through my fault it comes to your dwelling,
if poverty drives away
your golden shoes,
let it not drive away your laughter which is my life’s bread.
If you can’t pay the rent
go off to work with a proud step,
and remember, my love, that I am watching you
and together we are the greatest wealth
that was ever gathered upon the earth.

Little America

When I look at the shape
of America on the map,
my love, it is you I see:
the heights of copper on your head,
your breasts, wheat and snow,
your slender waist,
swift throbbing rivers, sweet
hills and meadows
and in the cold of the south your feet end
its geography of duplicated gold.

love, when I touch you
not only have my hands
explored your delight
but boughs and lands, fruits and water,
the springtime that I love,
the desert moon, the breast
of the wild dove,
the smoothness of stones worn away
by the waters of the sea or the rivers
and the red thickness
of the bush where
thirst and hunger lie in wait.
And thus my spacious country welcomes me,
little America, in your body.

Still more, when I see you lying down
I see in your skin, in your oaten color,
the nationality of my affection.
Because from your shoulders
the cane cutter
of blazing Cuba
looks at me, covered with dark sweat,

and from your throat
fishermen who tremble
in the damp houses of the shore
sing to me their secret.
And so along your body,
little adored America,
the lands and the peoples
interrupt my kisses
and your beauty then
not only lights the fire
that burns unquenched among us
but with your love it is calling to me
and across your life
it is giving me the life that I lack
and to the taste of your love is added the clay,
the kiss of the earth that waits for me.

Chilean poet Pablo Neruda (July 12, 1904 – September 23, 1973) was born Neftalí Ricardo Reyes Basoalto but chose Neruda as his pen name (later his legal name) because he admired the Czech poet Jan Neruda. Pablo Neruda became famous from the publication of his first collection of poetry, titled  Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair: an erotically charged series of poems written when he was 19 years old. Neruda won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1971 and died soon after the Chilean coup d’état of September 11, 1973. The fact that just before his death he had planned to go to Mexico to raise opposition from abroad against the military regime has led to considerable speculation on the possibility that he might have been murdered. Despite a curfew to prevent his funeral from becoming a public event, thousands of mourners crowded the streets to honor him.

Source: The Captain’s Verses, New Directions Publishing, Bilingual 1988 Edition | Wikipedia | Haiti Chery
Inglés | español

El monte y el rio

En mi patria hay un monte.
En mi patria hay un río.

Ven conmigo.

La noche al monte sube.
El hambre baja al río.

Ven conmigo.

¿Quiénes son los que sufren?
No sé, pero son míos.

Ven conmigo.

No sé, pero me llaman
y me dicen “Sufrimos”.

Ven conmigo.

Y me dicen: “Tu pueblo,
tu pueblo desdichado,
entre el monte y el río,

con hambre y con dolores,
no quiere luchar solo,
te está esperando, amigo”.

Oh tú, la que yo amo,
pequeña, grano rojo
de trigo,
será dura la lucha,
la vida será dura,
pero vendrás conmigo.

La pobreza

Ay no quieres,
te asusta
la pobreza,

no quieres
ir con zapatos rotos al mercado
y volver con el viejo vestido.

Amor, no amamos,
como quieren los ricos,
la miseria. Nosotros
la extirparemos como diente maligno
que hasta ahora ha mordido el corazón del hombre.

Pero no quiero
que la temas.
Si llega por mi culpa a tu morada,
si la pobreza expulsa
tus zapatos dorados,
que no expulse tu risa que es el pan de mi vida.
Si no puedes pagar el alquiler
sal al trabajo con paso orgulloso,
y piensa, amor, que yo te estoy mirando
y somos juntos la mayor riqueza
que jamás se reunió sobre la tierra.

Pequeña América

Cuando miro la forma
de América en el mapa,
amor, a ti te veo:
las alturas del cobre en tu cabeza,
tus pechos, trigo y nieve,
tu cintura delgada,
veloces ríos que palpitan, dulces
colinas y praderas
y en el frío del sur tus pies terminan
su geografía de oro duplicado.

Amor, cuando te toco
no sólo han recorrido
mis manos tu delicia,
sino ramas y tierra, frutas y agua,
la primavera que amo,
la luna del desierto, el pecho
de la paloma salvaje,
la suavidad de las piedras gastadas
por las aguas del mar o de los ríos
y la espesura roja
del matorral en donde
la sed y el hambre acechan.
Y así mi patria extensa me recibe,
pequeña América, en tu cuerpo.

Aún más, cuando te veo recostada
veo en tu piel, en tu color de avena,
la nacionalidad de mi cariño.
Porque desde tus hombros
el cortador de caña
de Cuba abrasadora
me mira, lleno de sudor oscuro,
y desde tu garganta
pescadores que tiemblan
en las húmedas casas de la orilla
me cantan su secreto.
Y así a lo largo de tu cuerpo,
pequeña América adorada,
las tierras y los pueblos
interrumpen mis besos
y tu belleza entonces
no sólo enciende el fuego
que arde sin consumirse entre nosotros,
sino que con tu amor me está llamando
y a través de tu vida
me está dando la vida que me falta
y al sabor de tu amor se agrega el barro,
el beso de la tierra que me aguarda.

Fuente: Los versos del Capitan, New Directions Publishing Corp., Bilingual 1988 Edition.

Dady Chery

About Dady Chery

Dr. Dady Chery is a Haitian-born journalist, playwright, essayist, and poet. She is the author of "We Have Dared to Be Free: Haiti's Struggle Against Occupation." Her broad interests encompass science, culture, and human rights. She writes extensively about Haiti and world issues such as climate change and social justice. Her many contributions to Haitian news include the first proposal that Haiti’s cholera had been imported by the UN, and the first story describing Haiti’s mineral wealth.

2 comments on “Three Poems By Pablo Neruda | Tres poemas de Pablo Neruda

  1. charles Moise on said:

    Hay una cancion que cantaba Nat King Cole:”Tres Palabras” en esta cancion, el describia su existencia. Pablo Neruda describia “Haiti” en tres poemas: monte y rio, pobreza, pequena America. Las tres palabras de Nat King Cole eran “como me gusta”. Bravo, Pablo!!!

  2. Dady CheryDady Chery on said:

    Je suis absolument d’accord!

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