Tuesday, September 02, 2008

After Pablo

This is my own translation of one of my favorite Neruda poems "Tu Risa"


Withhold bread from me
if you wish,
withhold even the air, but
do not hold back your laughter.

Do not withhold that rose,
the flower you pluck,
your joy bursting forth like water,
a sudden wave of silver
born of you.

My struggle is hard
and I return at times
with tired eyes,
having seen an earth
that will not change,
but on its entry,
your laughter
rises to the sky
in search of me,
opening all the doors of Life.

My love, in the darkest hour
your laughter blossoms
and if you suddenly see
my blood staining
the street's stones,
laugh, because for my hands
your laughter
is like a new sword.

Near the sea in Autumn
your laughter must lift
its cascade of foam,
and in the Spring, love,
I wish for your laughter
like a flower on which
I was waiting,
the blue flower, the rose
of my land echoing.

Laugh at the night,
at the day, at the moon,
at the crooked streets
of this island,
laugh at this clumsy boy
who loves you,
but when I open my eyes
and close them,
when my steps leave,
when they return,
withhold from me bread,
air, light, or even Spring,
but never your laughter,
for I would expire.
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