Pablo Neruda (1904-1973) was a titan of Latin American poetry. He commands great influence not only among the Spanish speaking countries but throughout the world of poetry. He is known for writing surrealist poems, poems about history and blissful love poems. This poem is an example of the latter from his second collection titled “Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair”
Translated from the Spanish by W.S. Merwin
Almost out of the sky
Almost out of the sky, half of the moon
anchors between two mountains.
Turning, wandering night, the digger of eyes.
Let’s see how many stars are smashed in the pool.
It makes a cross of mourning between my eyes,
and runs away.
Forge of blue metals, nights of still combats,
my heart revolves like a crazy wheel.
Girl who have come from so far, been brought from so far,
sometimes your glance flashes out under the sky.
Rumbling, storm, cyclone of fury,
you cross above my heart without stopping.
Wind from the tombs carries off, wrecks, scatters your
The big trees on the other side of her, uprooted.
But you, cloudless girl, question of smoke, corn tassel.
You were what the wind was making with illuminated leaves.
Behind the nocturnal mountains, white lily of conflagration,
ah, I can say nothing! You were made of everything.
Longing that sliced my breast into pieces,
it is time to take another road, on which she does not smile.
Storm that buried the bells, muddy swirl of torments,
why touch her now, why make her sad.
Oh to follow the road that leads away from everything,
without anguish, death, winter waiting along it
with their eyes open through the dew.