When understanding doesn’t matter!

I don’t trust my clock radio. As I said in my last post, I don’t really understand how to use it and so I let it wake me too early for fear of changing it and stuffing it up! I think of my extra 10 minutes awake in bed as a gentle start to a busy day and have come to welcome this slightly foggy moment in time.

This morning the BBC was repeating “The Arts Hour” and a celebration of the 40th anniversary of the death of the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. 

As a tribute to Neruda BBC World has produced a video of Poem 15 recorded in 21 languages. Some of you will understand two, three or even four of the languages you hear. It doesn’t seem to matter – what matters is the movement, the rhythm, the tone and the imagery.

So, dear reader, sit back, relax, maybe close your eyes and enjoy!

And here it is, in English.

It pleases me when you grow silent, as though you were absent,
and you hear me from afar, and my voice does not touch you.
It seems that your eyes have flown from you
and it seems that a kiss has closed your mouth.
As everything is filled with my soul,
you emerge from everything, filled with that soul.
Dream butterfly, you resemble my soul
and you resemble the word melancholy.
It pleases me when you grow silent and are as if far away.
As if moaning, butterfly lulled to sleep.
And you hear me from afar, and my voice does not arrive:
let me quiet myself with your silence.
Let me speak with you also with your silence,
clear as the lamplight, simple as a ring.
You are like the night, quieted and clustered with stars.
Your silence is of the star, so far away and simple.
It pleases me when you grow silent, as though you were absent.
Distant and dolorous as though you were dead.
One word then, one smile is enough.
And I am happy, happy that that is not so.

Have a lovely day.

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2 Responses to When understanding doesn’t matter!

  1. orandago says:

    Hi, Here is another translation including a video of it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOettptqJ9U
    STILL, featuring English composer Donna McKevitt’s setting of Pablo Neruda’s “I like for you to be still” (Poema XV). English translation by W.S. Merwin.

    • methemog says:

      Ooohhh – this looks lovely – just wish I could open the link at work. Will try later on. Thanks for your coment and hope you’ll be back to visit again soon! x

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