Poetry Wednesday

Poetry Wednesdays: Pablo Neruda, “Sonnet IX”

The following is something like my official summer poem. It evokes to me those  images of sea waves and lovers, in a background of the sunset or of moonlight reflected on water. But unlike in the typical summer romance, the lovers in this poem seem to have already had their life behind them. For are not the older, more intimate, more committed couples more capable of “permanent tenderness,” unlike younger, more passionate ones? Indeed, Pablo Neruda wrote his Cien Sonetos de Amor, dedicated to his third and last wife, in his 50s.

Sonnet IX
Pablo Neruda
Translated by Stephen Tapscott 

There where the waves shatter on the restless rocks
the clear light bursts and enacts its rose,
and the sea-circle shrinks to a cluster of buds,
to one drop of blue salt, falling.

O bright magnolia bursting in the foam,
magnetic transient whose death blooms
and vanishes — being, nothingness — forever:
broken salt, dazzling lurch of the sea.

You & I, Love, together we ratify the silence,
while the sea destroys its perpetual statues,
collapses its towers of wild speed and whiteness:

because in the weavings of those invisible fabrics,
galloping water, incessant sand,
we make the only permanent tenderness.

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Al golpe de la ola contra la piedra indócil
la claridad estalla y establece su rosa
y el círculo del mar se reduce a un racimo,
a una sola gota de sal azul que cae.

Oh radiante magnolia desatada en la espuma,
magnética viajera cuya muerte florece
y eternamente vuelve a ser y a no ser nada:
sal rota, deslumbrante movimiento marino.

Juntos tú y yo, amor mío, sellamos el silencio,
mientras destruye el mar sus constantes estatuas
y derrumba sus torres de arrebato y blancura,

porque en la trama de estos tejidos invisibles
del agua desbocada, de la incesante arena,
sostenemos la única y acosada ternura.

Sunset at Boracay

This is a response of sorts to this summer photo challenge. 🙂

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10 thoughts on “Poetry Wednesdays: Pablo Neruda, “Sonnet IX”

    1. I love his works as well. I have a collection of chosen poems and how his themes differ from one age to another is quite fascinating.

      I’m sorry, I really don’t understand Spanish 🙂 but I have my friends read his poems to me in the original and I find that the lines are always melodious. 🙂

      1. Forgive me for writing in Spanish jajajaaj, I love Neruda and yes his rhymes are incredible. He is genuinely a great writer and thinking. Much love!

  1. Pablo Neruda is instantly on the top 3 of my favorite poets. I do try to read them in the language they were written to see how it feels on my tongue but even translated to Engish, they are beautiful.

    Funny how I was just thinking of my favorite Neruda poem (Sonnet XVII), Ms. Fil! What a coincidence 🙂

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