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Sublime Blue: Selected Early Odes of Pablo Neruda

Sublime Blue: Selected Early Odes of Pablo Neruda

by Pablo Neruda

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A translation of Pablo Neruda’s early collections of odes, this book features poems that are addressed to hope and to gloom, to numbers and to the atom, to blue flowers and to artichokes. Reflecting the lucent, candid vitality driving Neruda’s charming accounts, these poems celebrate things big and the small: even lamentations become


A translation of Pablo Neruda’s early collections of odes, this book features poems that are addressed to hope and to gloom, to numbers and to the atom, to blue flowers and to artichokes. Reflecting the lucent, candid vitality driving Neruda’s charming accounts, these poems celebrate things big and the small: even lamentations become commemorations. Compassionately amused one moment then sobered by injustice and supportive of resistance the next, this bilingual compilation will appeal to fans of one of the 20th century’s most popular poets.

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Wings Press
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Sublime Blue

Selected Early Odes of Pablo Neruda

By Pablo Neruda, William Pitt Root

Wings Press

Copyright © 2013 Wings Press
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-60940-197-9


    El hombre invisible

    Yo me río,
    me sonrío
    de los viejos poetas,
    yo adoro toda
    la poesía escrita,
    todo el rocío,
    luna, diamante, gota
    de plata sumergida,
    que fue mi antiguo hermano,
    agregando a la rosa,
    me sonrío
    siempre dicen "yo"
    a cada paso
    les sucede algo,
    es siempre "yo",
    por las calles
    sólo ellos andan
    o la, dulce que aman,
    nadie más,
    no pasan pescadores,
    ni libreros,
    no pasan albañiles,
    nadie se cae
    de un andamio,
    nadie sufre,
    nadie ama,
    sólo mi pobre hermano,
    el poeta,
    a él le pasan
    todas las cosas
    ya su dulce querida,
    nadie vive

    The Invisible Man

    I laugh
    and I smile
    when it comes to the old poets,
    I adore all
    the poetry they wrote,
    all the dewmoon-diamond-drops
    of sunken silver
    my older brother gathered
    to improve upon the rose,
    I smile,
    for always they say "I,"
    every time
    something happens,
    always they say "I,"
    through the streets
    it is only they who walk
    they or the one they love,
    no one else is ever around,
    no fishermen pass,
    no booksellers,
    bricklayers never pass,
    no one tumbles
    from a scaffold,
    no one suffers,
    no one's in love,
    only my poor brother,
    the poet,
    all things happen
    to him
    or to his sweet mistress,
    no one else even exists,
    sino él solo,
    nadie llora de hambre
    o de ira,
    nadie sufre en sus versos
    porque no puede
    pagar el alquiler,
    a nadie en poesía
    echan a la calle
    con camas y con sillas
    y en las fábricas
    tampoco pasa nada,
    no pasa nada,
    se hacen paraguas, copas,
    armas, locomotoras,
    se extraen minerales
    rascando el infierno,
    hay huelga,
    vienen soldados,
    disparan contra el pueblo,
    es decir,
    contra la poesía,
    y mi hermano
    el poeta
    estaba enamorado, o sufría
    porque sus sentimientos
    son marinos,
    ama los puertos
    remotos, por sus nombres,
    y escribe sobre océanos
    que no conoce,
    junto a la vida, repleta
    como el maíz de granos,
    él pasa sin saber
    él sube y baja
    sin tocar la tierra,
    just him and him alone,
    no one cries out in hunger
    or wrath,
    in his verses no one suffers
    make the rent,
    never in his poetry
    is anyone thrown out into the street
    along with the bed and chairs
    and in the factories
    nothing happens,
    not a thing,
    umbrellas are made, wine glasses,
    weapons, locomotives,
    scraping out that hell
    they extract minerals,
    there's a labor strike,
    soldiers come,
    they shoot,
    they fire against the people,
    that is to say
    against poetry,
    and my brother
    the poet
    is in love, or suffers
    because of his passion
    for the sea,
    he loves exotic ports
    for their names,
    he writes of oceans
    he doesn't know,
    he passes right alongside of life
    without knowing enough
    to harvest its plenty bulging
    like kernels from an ear of corn,
    he falls and rises
    without ever touching earth,
    o a veces
    se siente profundísimo
    y tenebroso,
    él es tan grande
    que no cabe en sí mismo,
    se enreda y desenreda,
    se declara maldito,
    lleva con gran dificultad la cruz
    de las tinieblas,
    piensa que es diferente
    a todo el mundo,
    todos los días come pan
    pero no ha visto nunca
    un panadero
    ni ha entrado a un sindicato
    de panificadores,
    y así mi pobre hermano
    se hace oscuro,
    se tuerce y se retuerce
    y se halla
    ésta es la palabra,
    yo no soy superior
    a mi hermano
    pero sonrío,
    porque voy por las calles
    y sólo yo no existo,
    la vida corre
    como todos los ríos,
    yo soy el único
    no hay misteriosas sombras,
    no hay tinieblas,
    todo el mundo me habla,
    me quieren contar cosas,
    me hablan de sus parientes,
    or sometimes
    he feels profoundly sad,
    a melancholy
    so great
    his mere body can no longer contain him
    so he is entangled and untangled,
    declares himself cursed,
    with great difficulty carries the cross
    of shadows,
    he believes himself unique
    in all the world,
    every day he eats bread
    but he's never greeted
    a baker
    never entered a baker's union,
    and so my poor brother
    surrenders himself to darkness,
    tortures himself,
    tortures himself again
    and finds himself
    that's the word,
    nor am I superior
    to my brother
    when I smile,
    because as I go through the streets
    I alone do not exist,
    life runs
    as all rivers run,
    I am the only one
    there are no mysterious shadows,
    no darkness and gloom,
    everyone speaks to me,
    they want to tell me things,
    they talk about their relatives,
    de sus miserias
    y de sus alegrías,
    todos pasan y todos
    me dicen algo,
    y cuántas cosas hacen!:
    cortan maderas,
    suben hilos eléctricos,
    amasan hasta tarde en la noche
    el pan de cada día,
    con una lanza de hierro
    perforan las entrañas
    de la tierra
    y convierten el hierro
    en cerraduras,
    suben al cielo y llevan
    cartas, sollozos, besos,
    en cada puerta hay
    nace alguno,
    o me espera la que amo,
    y yo paso y las cosas
    me piden que las cante,
    yo no tengo tiempo,
    debo pensar en todo,
    debo volver a casa,
    pasar al Partido,
    qué puedo hacer,
    todo me pide
    que hable,
    todo me pide
    que cante y cante siempre,
    todo está lleno
    de sueños y sonidos,
    la vida es una caja
    llena de cantos, se abre
    y vuela y viene
    una bandada
    their miseries
    and their joys,
    everyone comes by and everyone
    tells me something new,
    and how many things they do!
    They chop down trees,
    climb up electric poles,
    late into night they knead loaves
    for the daily bread,
    with an iron lance
    they pierce the entrails
    of the earth
    converting the iron there
    into locks,
    they climb to the very heavens carrying
    letters, kisses, sobs,
    in each doorway
    there is someone,
    someone is born;
    or my love waits for me,
    and as I pass
    all things ask me to sing
    about them,
    I don't have time,
    I should be mindful of everything,
    I should go home,
    should pass by the Party office,
    but what can I do,
    everything calls out
    for me to speak,
    everything asks me
    to sing and sing forever,
    everything brims
    with dreams and sounds,
    life is a box
    full of songs, when it opens
    out flies a flock
    de pájaros
    que quieren contarme
    algo descansando en mis hombros,
    la vida es una lucha
    como un río que avanza
    y los hombres
    quieren decirme,
    por qué luchan,
    si mueren,
    por qué mueren,
    y yo paso y no tengo
    tiempo para tantas vidas,
    yo quiero
    que todos vivan
    en mi vida
    y canten en mi canto,
    yo no tengo importancia,
    no tengo tiempo
    para mis asuntos,
    de noche y de día
    debo anotar lo que pasa,
    y no olvidar a nadie.

    Es verdad que de pronto
    me fatigo
    y miro las estrellas,
    me tiendo en el pasto, pasa
    un insecto color de violín,
    pongo el brazo
    sobre un pequeño seno
    o bajo la cintura
    de la dulce que amo,
    y miro el terciopelo duro
    de la noche que tiembla
    con sus constelaciones congeladas,
    siento subir a mi alma
    of birds
    who wish to tell me something
    settling on my shoulders,
    life is a struggle
    like a river that advances
    and men
    want to tell me,
    to tell you
    why they struggle,
    and if they die
    and I go on by without the time
    for so many lives,
    I want
    everyone to live
    through my life
    and to sing through my song,
    I'm not important,
    I haven't time
    for my own affairs,
    night and day
    I must record everything,
    and forget no one.
    It's true that suddenly
    I tire
    and look up at the stars,
    I lie down in the grass, an insect
    the color of a violin passes by,
    I put my arm
    across a small breast
    or under the waist
    of the one I love,
    and I watch the tough velvet
    of night trembling
    with its frozen constellations,
    feel rising through my soul
    la ola de los misterios,
    la infancia,
    el llanto en los rincones,
    la adolescencia triste,
    y me da sueño,
    y duermo
    como un manzano,
    me quedo dormido
    de inmediato
    con las estrellas o sin las estrellas,
    con mi amor o sin ella,
    y cuando me levanto
    se fue la noche,
    la calle ha despertado antes que yo,
    a su trabajo
    van las muchachas pobres,
    los pescadores vuelven
    del océano,
    los mineros
    van con zapatos nuevos
    entrando en la mina,
    todo vive,
    todos pasan,
    andan apresurados,
    y yo tengo apenas tiempo
    para vestirme,
    yo tengo que correr:
    ninguno puede
    pasar sin que yo sepa
    adónde va, qué cosa
    le ha sucedido.
    No puedo
    sin la vida vivir,
    sin el hombre ser hombre
    y corro y veo y oigo
    y canto,
    las estrellas no tienen
    the wave of mysteries,
    of childhood,
    the weeping in corners,
    the sad adolescence,
    and it makes me sleepy
    and I sleep
    like an apple tree,
    I am sleeping gently
    with the stars or without them,
    with my love or without her,
    and when I rise
    night has gone,
    the street has awakened before me,
    the poor young women
    are heading for work,
    the fishermen returning
    from the ocean,
    the miners
    with their new shoes
    are entering the mine,
    everything's alive,
    everyone's passing by,
    they walk by quickly,
    and I scarcely have time
    to dress,
    I have to run:
    no one should
    pass without my knowing
    where he goes, what
    he does.
    I cannot
    live without life,
    be a man without mankind
    and I hurry and I hear and I see
    and I sing,
    for the stars
    nada que ver conmigo,
    la soledad no tiene
    flor ni fruto.
    Dadme para mi vida
    todas las vidas,
    dadme todo el dolor
    de todo el mundo,
    yo voy a transformarlo
    en esperanza.
    todas las alegrías,
    aun las más secretas,
    porque si así no fuera,
    cómo van a saberse?
    Yo tengo que contarlas,
    las luchas
    de cada día
    porque ellas son mi canto,
    y así andaremos juntos,
    codo a codo,
    todos los hombres,
    mi canto los reúne:
    el canto del hombre invisible
    que canta con todos los hombres.
    have nothing to do with me,
    solitude bears neither
    flower nor fruit.
    Give me for my life
    all lives,
    give me all the sorrow
    of the whole world,
    I will transform it
    into hope.
    Give me
    all joys,
    even the most intimate,
    how shall they be known?
    I have to speak of them,
    give me
    the struggles of
    each day
    because they are my song,
    and so we will walk together,
    elbow to elbow,
    all mankind,
    my song reunites them:
    song of the invisible man
    who sings with all mankind.


Excerpted from Sublime Blue by Pablo Neruda, William Pitt Root. Copyright © 2013 Wings Press. Excerpted by permission of Wings Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Pablo Neruda was the pen name of the Chilean writer and communist politician Ricardo Eliecer Neftalí Reyes Basoalto. He won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1971 and is the author of The Heights of Macchu Picchu and World's End. William Pitt Root is the author of numerous poetry collections, including Reasons For Going It On Foot, The Storm and Other Poems, and Trace Elements from a Recurring Kingdom: The First Five Books of William Pitt Root. He is the recipient of the Guy Owen awards, three Pushcart Prizes, and the Stanley Kunitz Prize. Most recently, he has served as the John C. Hodges visiting writer at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He lives in Durango, California.

Brief Biography

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

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