Fully Empowered

Fully Empowered

by Pablo Neruda
     
 

An important collection that includes some of the Nobel Prize winner's own favorite poems.

"The Sea"
A single entity, but no blood.
A single caress, death or a rose.
The sea comes in and puts our lives together
and attacks alone and spreads itself and sing
sin nights and days and men and living

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Overview

An important collection that includes some of the Nobel Prize winner's own favorite poems.

"The Sea"
A single entity, but no blood.
A single caress, death or a rose.
The sea comes in and puts our lives together
and attacks alone and spreads itself and sing
sin nights and days and men and living creatures.
Its essence-fire and cold; movement, movement.

Pablo Neruda himself regarded Fully Empowered -- which first appeared in Spanish in 1962 under the title Plenos Poderes -- as a particular favorite, in part because it came out of a most fruitful period in his life. These thirty-six poems vary from short, intense lyrics to characteristic Neruda odes to magnificent meditations on the office of poet, including poems that would undoubtedly claim a place in any selection of Neruda's greatest work. "The People" ("El Pueblo"), about the state of the working man in Chile's past and present, and the most celebrated of Neruda's later poems, completes this reflective, graceful collection.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“. . . Pablo Neruda will be with us in the perilous conquest of our future.” —Carlos Fuentes, The New York Times Book Review
Library Journal
This edition of the Nobel prize winner's 1962 volume presents the 36 poems in both Spanish and English.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780374513511
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
06/28/2001
Edition description:
Second Edition, Bilingual Edition
Pages:
160
Sales rank:
1,339,060
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.60(d)

Read an Excerpt




Chapter One


    Deber del poeta


A quien no escucha el mar en este viernes
por la mañana, a quien adentro de algo,
casa, oficina, fábrica o mujer,
o calle o mina o seco calabozo:
a éste yo acudo y sin hablar ni ver
llego y abro la puerta del encierro
y un sin fin se oye vago en la insistencia,
un largo trueno roto se encadena
al peso del planeta y de la espuma,
surgen los ríos roncos del océano,
vibra veloz en su rosal la estrella
y el mar palpíta, muere y continúa.

Así por el destino conducido
debo sin tregua oír y conservar
el lamento marino en mi conciencia,
debo sentir el golpe de agua dura
y recogerlo en una taza eterna
para que donde esté el encarcelado,
don de sufra el castigo del otoño
yo esté presente con una ola errante,
yo circule a través de las ventanas
y al oírme levante la mirada
diciendo: cómo me acercaré al océano?
Y yo transmitiré sin decir nada
los ecos estrellados de la ola,
un quebranto de espuma y arenales,
un susurro de sal que se retira,
el grito gris del ave de la costa.

Y así, por mí, la libertad y el mar
responderán al corazón oscuro.


    The Poet's Obligation


To whoever is not listening to the sea
this Friday morning, to whoever is cooped up
in house or office, factory or woman
or street ormine or dry prison cell,
to him I come, and without speaking or looking
I arrive and open the door of his prison,
and a vibration starts up, vague and insistent,
a long rumble of thunder adds itself
to the weight of the planet and the foam,
the groaning rivers of the ocean rise,
the star vibrates quickly in its corona
and the sea beats, dies, and goes on beating.

So, drawn on by my destiny,
I ceaselessly must listen to and keep
the sea's lamenting in my consciousness,
I must feel the crash of the hard water
and gather it up in a perpetual cup
so that, wherever those in prison may be,
wherever they suffer the sentence of the autumn,
I may be present with an errant wave,
I may move in and out of windows,
and hearing me, eyes may lift themselves,
asking "How can I reach the sea?"
And I will pass to them, saying nothing,
the starry echoes of the wave,
a breaking up of foam and quicksand,
a rustling of salt withdrawing itself,
the gray cry of sea birds on the coast.

So, through me, freedom and the sea
will call in answer to the shrouded heart.


    La palabra


Nació
la palabra en la sangre,
creció en el cuerpo oscuro, palpitando,
y voló eon los labios y la boca.

Más lejos y más cerca
aún, aún venía
de padres muertos y de errantes razas,
de territorios que se hicieron piedra,
que se cansaron de sus pobres tribus,
porque cuando el dolor salió al camino
los pueblos anduvieron y llegaron
y nueva tierra y agua reunieron
para sembrar de nuevo su palabra.
Y así la herencía es ésta:
éste es el aire que nos comunica
con el hombre enterrado y con la aurora
de nuevos seres que aún no amanecieron.

Aún la atmósfera tiembla
eon la primera palabra
elaborada
con pánico y gemido.
Salió
de las tinieblas
y hasta ahora no hay trueno
que truene aún con su ferretería
como aquella palabra,
la primera
palabra pronunciada:
tal vez sólo un susurro fue, una gota,


    The Word


The word
was born in the blood,
grew in the dark body, beating,
and took flight through the lips and the mouth.

Farther away and nearer
still, still it came
from dead fathers and from wandering races,
from lands which had turned to stone,
lands weary of their poor tribes,
for when grief took to the roads
the people set out and arrived
and married new land and water
to grow their words again.
And so this is the inheritance;
this is the wavelength which connects us
with dead men and the dawning
of new beings not yet come to light.

Still the atmosphere quivers
with the first word uttered
dressed up
in terror and sighing.
It emerged
from the darkness
and until now there is no thunder
that ever rumbles with the iron voice
of that word,
the first
word uttered—
perhaps it was only a ripple, a single drop,
y cae y cae aún su catarata.

Luego el sentido llena la palabra.
Quedó preñada y se llenó de vidas,
Todo fue nacimientos y sonidos:
la afirmación, la claridad, la fuerza,
la negación, la destrucción, la muerte:
el verbo asumió todos los poderes
y se fundió existencia con esencia
en la electricidad de su hermosura.

Palabra humana, sílaba, cadera
de larga luz y dura platería,
hereditaria copa que recibe
las comunicaciones de la sangre:
he aquí que el silencio fue integrado
por el total de la palabra humana
y no hablar es morir entre los seres:
se hace lenguaje hasta la cabellera,
habla la boca sin mover los labios:
los ojos de repente son palabras.

Yo tomo la palabra y la recorro
como si fuera sólo forma humana,
me embelesan sus líneas y navego
en cada resonancia del idioma:
pronuncio y soy y sin hablar me acerca
el fin de las palabras al silencio.

Bebo por la palabra levantando
una palabra o copa cristalina,
en ella bebo
and yet its great cataract falls and falls.

Later on, the word fills with meaning.
Always with child, it filled up with lives.
Everything was births and sounds—
affirmation, clarity, strength,
negation, destruction, death—
the verb took over all the power
and blended existence with essence
in the electricity of its grace.

Human word, syllable, flank
of extending light and solid silverwork,
hereditary goblet which receives
the communications of the blood—
here is where silence came together with
the wholeness of the human word,
and, for human beings, not to speak is to die—
language extends even to the hair,
the mouth speaks without the lips moving,
all of a sudden, the eyes are words.

I take the word and pass it through any senses
as though it were no more than a human shape;
its arrangements awe me and I find my way
through each resonance of the spoken word—
I utter and I am and, speechless, I approach
across the edge of words silence itself.

I drink to the word, raising
a word or a shining cup;
in it I drink
el vino del idioma
o el agua interminable,
manantial maternal de las palabras,
y copa y agua y vino
originan mi canto
porque el verbo es origen
y vierte vida: es sangre,
es la sangre que expresa su substancia
y está dispuesto así su desarrollo:
dan cristal al cristal, sangre a la sangre,
y dan vida a la vida las palabras.

the pure wine of language
or inexhaustible water,
maternal source of words,
and cup and water and wine
give rise to my song
because the verb is the source
and vivid life—it is blood,
blood which expresses its substance
and so ordains its own unwinding.
Words give glass quality to glass, blood to blood,
and life to life itself.


    Océano


Cuerpo más puro que un ola,
sal que lava la línea,
y el ave lúcida
volando sin raíces.


    Ocean


Body more perfect than a wave,
salt washing the sea line,
and the shining bird
flying without ground roots.


    Agua


Todo en la tierra se encrespó, la zarza
clavó y el hilo verde
mordía, el pétalo cayó cayendo
hasta que única flor fue la caída.
El agua es diferente,
no tiene dirección sino hermosura,
corre pot cada sueño de color,
toma lecciones claras
de la piedra
y en esos menesteres elabora
los deberes intactos de la espuma.


    Water


Everything on the earth bristled, the bramble
pricked and the green thread
nibbled away, the petal fell, falling
until the only flower was the falling itself.
Water is another matter,
has no direction but its own bright grace,
runs through all imaginable colors,
takes limpid lessons
from stone,
and in those functionings plays out
the unrealized ambitions of the foam.

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Meet the Author

Pablo Neruda (1904-73), one of the renowned poets of the twentieth century, was born in Parral, Chile. He shared the World Peace Prize with Paul Robeson and Pablo Picasso in 1950, and received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1971.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
July 12, 1904
Date of Death:
September 23, 1973
Place of Birth:
Parral, Chile
Place of Death:
Santiago, Chile
Education:
University of Chile, Santiago

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