We Bear The Sole, Relentless Tenderness

pablo-neruda
Pablo Neruda

You can cut all the flowers, but you can not keep Spring from coming.

Pablo Neruda

In The Wave-Strike Over Unquiet Stones

by Pablo Neruda

In the wave-strike over unquiet stones
the brightness bursts and bears the rose
and the ring of water contracts to a cluster
to one drop of azure brine that falls.
O magnolia radiance breaking in spume,
magnetic voyager whose death flowers
and returns, eternal, to being and nothingness:
shattered brine, dazzling leap of the ocean.
Merged, you and I, my love, seal the silence
while the sea destroys its continual forms,
collapses its turrets of wildness and whiteness,
because in the weft of those unseen garments
of headlong water, and perpetual sand,
we bear the sole, relentless tenderness.


I am like Neruda at the start of his poem Poetry, I don’t where poetry arrived in search of me, but I do know when.   I was just about to turn 50 and it came over me like a wave, quite suddenly my connection to poetry.  And it wasn’t just one poet, it was a host of poets, calling to me, dropping little bombs into my life, most of them resonating because of one or two lines before the whole of it made more sense after many readings. And then it turned into a flood, a torrent, that carried me along of its own accord.  I could have swum sideways to the current and reached shore and gotten out, but I decided to see where that river might carry me and it has carried me beyond where I ever anticipated.

As Neruda says; “it was at that age.”  What age was it for you, when poetry arrived?  How did it come into your life, slowly or with a host of trumpets, heralding its arrival?  Where is poetry now on your journey?  Where have you yet to let it take you? Where will you let it take you?


Poetry

by Pablo Neruda

And it was at that age … Poetry arrived
in search of me. I don’t know, I don’t know where
it came from, from winter or a river.
I don’t know how or when,
no they were not voices, they were not
words, nor silence,
but from a street I was summoned,
from the branches of night,
abruptly from the others,
among violent fires
or returning alone,
there I was without a face
and it touched me.

I did not know what to say, my mouth
had no way
with names,
my eyes were blind,
and something started in my soul,
fever or forgotten wings,
and I made my own way,
deciphering
that fire,
and I wrote the first faint line,
faint, without substance, pure
nonsense,
pure wisdom
of someone who knows nothing,
and suddenly I saw
the heavens
unfastened
and open,
planets,
palpitating plantations,
shadow perforated,
riddled
with arrows, fire and flowers,
the winding night, the universe.

And I, infinitesimal being,
drunk with the great starry
void,
likeness, image of
mystery,
felt myself a pure part
of the abyss,
I wheeled with the stars,
my heart broke loose on the wind.