Sunday, April 27, 2003


These days, one must fly—but where to?
without wings, without an airplane, fly—without a doubt:
the footsteps have passed on, to no avail;
they didn’t move the feet of the traveler along.

At every instant, one must fly—like
eagles, like houseflies, like days:
must conquer the rings of Saturn
and build new carillons there.

Shoes and pathways are no longer enough,
the earth is no use anymore to the wanderer:
the roots have already crossed through the night,

and you will appear on another planet,
stubbornly transient,
transformed in the end into poppies.

from 100 Love Sonnets Cien sonetos de amorby Pablo Neruda (1959)

...these are tulips in my backyard

Hay que volar en este tiempo, a donde?
Sin alas, sin avion, volar sin duda:
ya los pasos pasaron sin remedio,
no elevaron los pies del pasajero.

Hay que volar a cada instante como
las aguilas, las moscas y los dias,
hay que vencer los ojos de Saturno
y establecer alli nuevas campanas.

Ya no bastan zapatos ni caminos,
ya no sirve la tierrra a los errantes,
ya cruzaron la noche las raices,

y tu aparaceras en otra estrella
determinadamente transitoria
convertida por fin en amapola.

This is a painting by Alice Woolf from the early 1940s

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