Saturday, October 18, 2014

A River Understands

A River Understands

I think a river understands me,
I used to know my name,
and now I don't. 

For what does a river call itself
when it starts emptying into the sea?

Opening itself wider, until it is one 
with the ocean? 

I am like that with the world,
and in my union with all
you were there,
because you read this page. 

        Poetry often provides us with the words that voice our innermost feelings. From The Ballad of Ladies of the Past by Francois Villon: "Where is Echo, beheld of no man,/Only heart on river and mere, -/She whose beauty was more than human?/But where are the snows of yester-year?"
         Poetry implores us to question ourselves and in doing so, to understand ourselves. To know ourselves deeper than we might have, but entirely, like we should. Today I came across the poem Poetry, by Pablo Neruda, for the first time. It is beautiful and it illuminates the gift that poetry is to the soul.
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,
that fire,
and I wrote the first faint line,
faint, without substance, pure
pure wisdom
of someone who knows nothing,
and suddenly I saw
the heavens
and open,
palpitating plantations,
shadow perforated,
with arrows, fire and flowers,
the winding night, the universe.

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


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