by Pablo Neruda


translated by Heberto Morales and Will Hochman








huge life flyer

let me give you

the wing

of my song,

its feather

in a wind,

the very blowing

and leaping

of my ode


from your invisible


and flying from your


tight, fleshy

energy industry,

(such a delicate

and powerful

cradle against fatigue!)

always living

with your own dark



While the heart

plucks mandolin strings,

you suck and score,

you distinguish and divide,

you increase and lubricate,

you give home

to life’s enzymes

and grams of experience

collecting liquors

at this song’s party

and after cleaning up,

you are warmly last

to say goodbye.


Seafaring anger soul

whose innards

measure blood,

you live hands on

oars and eyes ahead


the hidden mysteries,

the alchemist’s chamber

of life’s microscopic,

echoic, inner oceans.

Yellow is your system

through red deep sea diving

to the most dangerous depths

where man is down

and eternally hiding

silent in his own


Every feeling,

all stimuli

resound in your tireless


to the works of love

you added the anger,

fire and melancholy

of one simple,

wrong turn,

one small cell goes astray:

the pilot flies the wrong sky,

the tenor shrinks to whisper,

the astronomer loses his planet,

--nothing responds as it might,

your illuminated




How horizon bright

the rose’s

twitching eyes,

and the petal lips

of the carnation

as they kiss love’s

early morning,

how wet with sex

is their flowering,

a river for all

elemental springs,

and always down here,

beneath the flow and bed

is the liver

with its own chemistry,

its own filter and scale,

a visceral warehouse

of subtle changes;

almost nobody

dives this deep to see

or sing to it,

unless it becomes old,

its stones worn to sand

and with less tide

do the eyes go out

of the rose,

the carnation’s teeth

decay and wilt

so that the maiden

no longer sings

with the music

of water,

her constant,

her flowing.


Severe part of all

and self,

austere grandfather to the heart,

energy mill;

I sing fear’s poem to you

as though you were an editor

judging rhythm and word

according to printable space

and if I can’t write pure,

if excessive poeting

of my hereditary wines

and homeland

upset my health

or balance of phrase and blood

from you,

obscure monarch,


dispenser of honey wisdom,

poison silence,

and salt of experience,

from you I expect justice;

I love life,

don’t stop my line,

perform for me!