Tag Archives: Pablo Neruda

“I’ve cried, and you’d think I’d be better for it, but the sadness just sleeps, and it stays in my spine for the rest of my life.” –The City Has Sex, by Bright Eyes

Recently JC commented I flummox between neurotic happiness/ sadness so much on this forum. I thought about it, and maybe I just happen to write in those loose moments. But the moment I happen to have something to hold on to, they seem to scatter away – dandelions.

Some work unhappiness again. Sometimes I get so mad at myself the sadness chokes up inside and returns in little peeking silver fishes whenever I do anything else in a lonely weekend. My reading. My writing. My bathing the cat. I was thinking of doing other things, and going on one of those escapist adventures, but I knew sort of that the discipline of studying was in order, and recently have tried hard not to be involved in any reading, so that I could concentrate on the finance examinations.

I talked with Irving who came back over the weekend, who speaks of walking dazed into a surrealist sort of art hovel (Irv: Where was this again? Strasbourg?) where the artist spoke of objects coming to life in a different way in an unexpected environment, like apples in a faded church, furniture in a forest. The gleams of thought dazzled in my mind for a moment – I thought of the way the light would hit the blood red apples in a church – and it was beautiful. I love the way Irving talked about his frustration of little boys, which brought to mind the boy in the Italian movie, Life is Beautiful (stomping his feet in his insistence not to have a bath).

In the middle of the week, WS confided that when stressed by work (in a true lawyerly habit), WS watches Audrey Hepburn movies. I leaned forward in expectation, wondering if, WS could be one of us. When WS spoke of his favourite movies – Roman Holiday, When It Sizzles (or something like that), knew the modern Sabrina and understood what I meant of the scene when Sabrina steps out into the street with her newly coiffeured hairdo – when WS understood the martini scene in All About Eve – I knew then I had found ‘one of us’ – and it was a little glimmer of pleasure. I really enjoyed that conversation – it was like recounting something familiar. WS has been with me since the near beginnings of my public blogging habit of Contredanse (though he has been excepted from this one), and so it was a present/past sort of lingering dinner conversation. He does not agree with French music/films the way I do, but we share a penchant for our Italian film favourites. This is the manner of afternoon conversations – we match favourites like jigsaw puzzle pieces. I regret I do not always bring stability to a conversation.

I wish I could have that feeling – of coming into alive – of walking on the streets with a dazed array and memory of lights in my mind – wearing a cupcake necklace – leaving the cat at the door – carrying Sontag- afternoon cafe- scones and cream tea. I don’t know what is keeping me a hermit. A little unhappiness gathers like a pool within me – I don’t know if you understand what this means, Beansprouts, because I know for you, you would just carry on walking.

I am jealous / I am possessive / I am so many things / I think of Emily Dickinson wanting to write all her thoughts in one page / I think of Hans Christian’s accountant putting on his magical galoshes and transforming into a poet and visiting the Middle Ages feeling very confused. I am often the one classified as ‘vague’ – because I don’t really pen down my exact emotions and the root of these thoughts (it is a public forum for a reason), but strangely even for the people I love, I am throwing apples, but they are unable to catch the underlying words. I don’t think I will, even as a lawyer, ever be able to say how I really feel.

“My fault, my failure, is not in the passions I have, but in my lack of control of them.” — Jack Kerouac

My dad sent me this picture below, apparently there are some creepy owners taking to painting their cats. I don’t think I’ve ever had such a temptation, but regardless the cats below look slightly lost and Wiccan in their crescents.

There were some other photographs but hopefully you feel sorry for the above two already, ha ha!

Before I stopped my reading, this was one of the last poems I came across – a little goodbye till the next entry.

“Every Day You Play”
By Pablo Neruda

Every day you play with the light of the universe.
Subtle visitor, you arrive in the flower and the water.
You are more than this white head that I hold tightly
as a cluster of fruit, every day, between my hands.

You are like nobody since I love you.
Let me spread you out among yellow garlands.
Who writes your name in letters of smoke among the stars of the south?
Oh let me remember you as you were before you existed.

Suddenly the wind howls and bangs at my shut window.
The sky is a net crammed with shadowy fish.
Here all the winds let go sooner or later, all of them.
The rain takes off her clothes.

The birds go by, fleeing.
The wind. The wind.
I can contend only against the power of men.
The storm whirls dark leaves
and turns loose all the boats that were moored last night to the sky.

You are here. Oh, you do not run away.
You will answer me to the last cry.
Cling to me as though you were frightened.
Even so, at one time a strange shadow ran through your eyes.

Now, now too, little one, you bring me honeysuckle,
and even your breasts smell of it.
While the sad wind goes slaughtering butterflies
I love you, and my happiness bites the plum of your mouth.

How you must have suffered getting accustomed to me,
my savage, solitary soul, my name that sends them all running.
So many times we have seen the morning star burn, kissing our eyes,
and over our heads the gray light unwind in turning fans.

My words rained over you, stroking you.
A long time I have loved the sunned mother-of-pearl of your body.
I go so far as to think that you own the universe.
I will bring you happy flowers from the mountains, bluebells,
dark hazels, and rustic baskets of kisses.
I want
to do with you what spring does with the cherry trees.


I remember you as you were

I remember you as you were in the last autumn.
You were the grey beret and the still heart.
In your eyes the flames of the twilight fought on.
And the leaves fell in the water of your soul.

Clasping my arms like a climbing plant
the leaves garnered your voice, that was slow and at peace.
Bonfire of awe in which my thirst was burning.
Sweet blue hyacinth twisted over my soul.

I feel your eyes traveling, and the autumn is far off:
grey beret, voice of a bird, heart like a house
towards which my deep longings migrated
and my kisses fell, happy as embers.

Sky from a ship. Field from the hills:
Your memory is made of light, of smoke, of a still pond!
Beyond your eyes, farther on, the evenings were blazing.
Dry autumn leaves revolved in your soul.

– Pablo Neruda

And my kisses fell, happy as embers. What a poignant and evocative image.