drunk with great starry void – Neruda – spanish/english

Neruda Drunk with starry void

English translation:

And it was at that age … Poetry arrived
in search of me. I don’t know, I don’t know where
it came from, from winter or a river.
I don’t know how or when,

no they were not voices, they were not
words, nor silence,
but from a street I was summoned,
from the branches of night,
abruptly from the others,
among violent fires
or returning alone,
there I was without a face
and it touched me.

I did not know what to say, my mouth
had no way
with names,
my eyes were blind,
and something started in my soul,
fever or forgotten wings,
and I made my own way,
deciphering
that fire,
and I wrote the first faint line,
faint, without substance, pure
nonsense,
pure wisdom
of someone who knows nothing,
and suddenly I saw
the heavens
unfastened
and open,
planets,
palpitating plantations,
shadow perforated,
riddled
with arrows, fire and flowers,
the winding night, the universe.

And I, infinitesimal being,
drunk with the great starry
void,
likeness, image of
mystery,
felt myself a pure part
of the abyss,
I wheeled with the stars,
my heart broke loose on the wind.

Spanish original:

Poesia

Pablo Neruda

 

Y fue a esa edad . . . Llegó la poesía

a buscarme. No sé, no sé de dónde

salió, de inverno o río.

No sé cómo ni cuándo,

no, no eran voces, no eran

palabras, ni silencio,

pero desde una calle me llamaba,

desde las ramas de la noche

de pronto entre los otros,

entre fuegos violentos

o regresando solo,

allí estaba sin rostro

y me tocaba.

 

Yo no qué decir, mi boca

no sabía

nombrar,

mis ojos eran ciegos,

y algo golpeaba en mi alma,

fiebre o alas perdidas,

y me fui haciendo solo,

descifrando

aquella quemadura,

y escribí la primera línea vaga,

vaga sin cuerpo, pura

tontería,

pura sabiduría,

del que no sabe nada,

y vi de pronto

el cielo

desgranado

y abierto,

planetas,

plantaciones palpitantes,

la sombra perforada,

acribillada

por flechas, fuego y flores,

la noche arrolladora, el universo.

 

Y yo, minimo ser,

ebrio del gran vacío

constelado,

a semejanza, a imagen

del misterio,

me sentí parte pura

del abismo,

rodé con las estrellas,

mi corazón se desató en el viento.

Pablo Neruda

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4 thoughts on “drunk with great starry void – Neruda – spanish/english

  1. Thank you for this Tomas — Neruda paints with words in ways that no other poet does.
    “I don’t know where it came from, from winter or a river.”

    “…but from a street I was summoned, from the branches of night,
    abruptly from the others, among violent fires or returning alone,
    there I was without a face and it touched me.”

    Who else but Neruda can say such things and have these words convey the meanings they do — even when translated to a “foreign” language! I bow to the master. These words bloom in my heart. ♥ Alia

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