“What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? / The world would split open.”
Poet Muriel Rukeyser

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Another Question

See my previous post for more about Pablo Neruda's poems...

XXXIII

And why is the sun such a bad companion
to the traveler in the desert?

And why is the sun so congenial
in the hospital garden?

Are they birds or fish
in these nets of moonlight?

Was it where they lost me
that I finally found myself?

The Book of Questions

One of the books I bought on impulse the other day was Pablo Neruda's "The Book of Questions." It's poetry book of questions. Here's an example:

LXVII

Can you love me, syllabary,
and give me a meaningful kiss?

Is a dictionary a sepulchre
or a sealed honeycomb?

In which window did I remain
watching buried time?

Or is what I see from afar
what I have not yet lived?

Each poem is presented in its English translation and the original Spanish.

The inside cover says this: In The Book of Questions, Pablo Neruda refuses to be corralled by the rational mind. Composed entirely of unanswerable couplets, the poems integrate the wonder of a child with the experiences of an adult. Whether comic, surreal, or Orphic, Neruda's poignant questions lead the reader beyond reason into realms of sudden intuition and pure imagination.

It's a delightful little book.