23. Los Versos del Capitan

by Pablo Neruda

This is Neruda's umpteenth book of love poems. It's especially good for me because it has both the original Spanish and the English translation on the opposite page. I can read the Spanish, but miss a great deal of the layers of meaning. Neruda has been on of the world's most celebrated poets for decades. He's still wringing out the words.

While this old man's poetry can be a bit chauvinistic, and romantic in the old Spanish way, it is beautiful.

Here's one called "La Infinita":

Ves estas manos? Han medido
la tierra, han separado
los miserales y los celeales,
han hecho la laz y la guerra,
han derribado las distancias
de todos los mares y rios
y sin embargo
cuando te recorren
a ti, pequena,
grano de trigo, alondra,
no alcanzan a abarcarte,
se cansan alcanzando
las palomas gemelas
que reposan o vuelan en tu pecho,
recorren las distancias de tu piernas,
se enrollan en la luz de tu cintura.
Para mi eres tesoro mas cargado
de immensidad que el mar y sus recimos
y eres blanca y azul y extensa como
la tierra en la vendimia.
En ese territorio,
de tus pies a tu frente,
andando, andando, andando,
me pasare la vida.


In English:

The Infinite One

Do you see these hands? They have measured
the earth, the have separated
minerals and cereals,
they have made peace and war,
they have demolished the distances
of all the seas and rivers,
and yet,
when they move over you,
little one,
grain of wheat, swallow,
they can not encompass you,
they are weary seeking
the twin doves
that rest of fly in your breast,
they travel the distances of your legs,
they coil in the light of your waist.
For me you are a treasure more laden
with immensity than the sea and its branches
and you are white and blue and spacious like
the earth at vintage time.
In that territory,
from your feet to your brow,
walking, walking, walking,
I shall spend my life.

1 comment:

HermannFilm said...

thanks for sharing this wonderful poem :-)