Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Night On The Island. Neruda

All night I have slept with you
next to the sea, on the island
Wild and sweet you were between pleasure and sleep,
between fire and water.

Perhaps very late
our dreams joined
at the top or at the bottom,
up above like branches moved by a common wind,
down below like red roots that touch.

Perhaps your dream
drifted from mine
and through the dark sea
was seeking me
as before,
when you did not exist,
when without sighting you
I sailed by your side,
and your eyes sought
what now---
bread, wine,love and anger--
I heap upon you
because you are the cup
that was waiting for the gifts of my life.

I have slept with you
all night long while
the dark earth spins
with the living and the dead,
and on waking suddenly
in the midst of the shadow
my arm encircled your waist.

I have slept with you
and on waking, your mouth
come from your dream,
gave me the taste of earth,
of sea water, of sea weed,
of the depths of your life
and I received your kiss
moistened by the dawn
as if it came to me
from the sea that surrounds us.

--Pablo Neruda
La Noche en la Isla
The Captain's Verses.1971

1 comment:

Katia Shtefan said...

What I love most about this poem is how the lovers complement one another. He deposits his gifts--bread, wine, anger, etc--in the cup of her life, but when he drinks from it, he receives her own gifts--a taste of the natural world that surrounds them.

If you really like Neruda, check out Red Poppy at It's a non-profit set up to create a documentary about Neruda, publish his biography, and translate his works into English. To check out our blog on Neruda's literary activism, click on "Journal."