Friday, July 17, 2015

Poetry Friday - Pablo Neruda's LXXXIX

 Today Poetry Friday is with Kimberly Moran
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I found out yesterday that my grandmother - my Mamita - passed away in the morning. Since then, countless memories of her have come back to me. I've had Pablo Neruda's Poem 20 that she used to recite with my husband playing over and over in my head. I can feel the softness of her hand in mine. I can hear the joy in her laughter. 

The last time we saw her was in 2011 and then she returned to Guatemala and her health kept her from being able to travel back and forth any more. It's weighing on my heart that I can't be there to celebrate the amazing woman she was.
She was a reader and a writer; she knew endless poems and songs, jokes and stories all by heart. I'm sure I'll write more about her and what she meant to me but I want to share this Pablo Neruda poem here today. I took the liberty of translating it myself because I wasn't happy with any translations I found online (which means this is totally my interpretation of the text). 

This is a love poem, and maybe - actually probably - Neruda meant it for a lover but I can see Mamita in it, wanting me to keep living my life to the fullest and always believing in me. Isn't it interesting what we as readers bring to a text and how our experiences might shed a certain light on what we read? That's the beauty of it though, maybe the author meant one thing but readers can make it so much more.


Cuando yo muera quiero tus manos en mis ojos:
quiero la luz y el trigo de tus manos amadas
pasar una vez más sobre mí su frescura:
sentir la suavidad que cambió mi destino.

Quiero que vivas mientras yo, dormido, te espero,
quiero que tus oídos sigan oyendo el viento,
que huelas el aroma del mar que amamos juntos
y que sigas pisando la arena que pisamos.

Quiero que lo que amo siga vivo
y a ti te amé y canté sobre todas las cosas,
por eso sigue tú floreciendo, florida,

para que alcances todo lo que mi amor te ordena,
para que se pasee mi sombra por tu pelo,
para que así conozcan la razón de mi canto.


When I die I want your hands on my eyes:
I want the brilliance and honesty of your loving hands
to pass their coolness over me one more time:
to feel the smoothness that changed my destiny.

I want you to live while I, sleeping, wait for you,
I want your ears to go on hearing the wind
for you to smell the scent of the sea we both loved
and for you to keep walking the sand we walked upon.

I want all that I love to stay alive
and I loved you and sang your praises above everything,
so keep blossoming, my flower,

so that you can accomplish everything my love expects of you,
so that my shadow can stroke your hair,
so that all may recognize the reason for my song.

Pablo Neruda
Veinte poemas de amor y una canción desesperada. Cien Sonetos de Amor

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