Friday, May 06, 2005

More Neruda

For those of us who love the sea, there is no end to our attempts to describe how it affects us. I am fortunate to live in an area where I can get to the Atlantic Ocean relatively quickly. When I stand gazing out over rocky cliffs or a smooth beach, I feel connected to the world, calmer than usual, soothed, I think, is the best word. The sea is healing.

Pablo Neruda wrote a wonderful short poem which captures the essence of the sea in a remarkable way. I found it in The Essential Neruda, ed. by Mark Eisner. I have included the Spanish as well, just for fun.

Have a wonderful weekend.


Un solo ser, pero no hay sangre.
Una sola caricia, muerte o rosa.
Viene el mar y reúne nuestras vidas
y solo ataca y se reparte y canta
en noche y día y hombre y criatura.
La esencia : fuego y frío : movimiento

Pablo Neruda


One single being, but there's no blood.
One single caress, death or rose.
The sea comes and reunites our lives
and attacks and divides and sings alone
in night and day and man and creature.
The essence : fire and cold : movement.

Pablo Neruda


Danny said...

"Viene el mar y reúne nuestras vidas".

This is poignant Amy. I could relate to your experience and Neruda's poem about the sea because the sea is my only outlet in my remote town several years ago.

Many times I had cried there, as a boy, and I would feel as if the gentle arms of the sea would console and embrace me, brushing away my tears through the rushing waves on the shore.

Knitting Painter Woman said...

Have you seen Mary Oliver's new published collection? B&N had it on display for National Poetry Month. I am such a poetry beginner... but these were lovely. (I'm hoping the book shows up for mother's day... so I didn't purchase it...soon.)

Amy said...


The sea is indeed powerful. It's good to know you had a healing place to go as a boy.


I have not seen it-thanks for pointing it out. I can't believe Nat'l Poetry Month just went by and I barely noticed!

Gilbert Koh said...


That is such an utterly beautiful poem by Neruda. The images - they defy analysis. They just run straight into the reader's soul and strike a chord somewhere deep inside.

Josse said...

Pablo Naruda is such a fine poet. Thanks for sharing this poem. Recently I saw a book of his poetry to do with the sea complete with amazing photographs.

mark said...

Hi there. It's Mark Eisner. I love your blog. Great to see the poem like that. I'm going to be at Isla Negra next week. Check out