Tag Archives: Pablo Neruda

Pablo Neruda

Pablo Neruda (poet) was a Nobel Prize winning Chilean poet who led a politically and poetically charged life. He served as a diplomat and as a honorary consultant for many countries. After he joined the Communist Party, he began writing poems contrary to the contemporaneous political climate and had to go into hiding. He died in 1973, just twelve days after the fall of Chile’s democratic regime.

 

Domenic James Scopa (translator) is a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee and 2014 recipient of the Robert K. Johnson Poetry Prize and Garvin Tate Merit Scholarship. His work was selected in a contest hosted by Missouri State University Press to be included in their anthology Proud to Be: Writing by American Warriors, volume 3. He is a student of the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA Program, where he studies poetry and translation. He is also a staff writer for the literary journal Verse-Virtual, a book reviewer for Misfit Magazine, and a professor of literature at Changing Lives Through Literature. His poetry and translations have been featured in Reunion: the Dallas Review, The Bayou Review, The Más Tequila Review, Boston Thought, Poetry Pacific, Stone Highway Review, Diverse Voices Quarterly, Malpais Review, and Empty Sink Publishing.

 

Past

We must tear down the past
and as one builds
floor by floor, window by window,
and the building rises,
so do we go throwing down
first broken tiles,
then pompous doors,
until from the past
dust rises
as if to ram
against the floor,
smoke rises
as if to catch fire,
and each new day
shines
like an empty
plate:
there is nothing, there was nothing:
it should be filled
with new nutritious space,
then downward
plunges yesterday
as in a well
falls yesterday’s water,
into the cistern
without a voice or fire.
It’s difficult
to teach bones
how to fade away,
to teach eyes
how to close
but
we do it
without knowing
everything was all alive,
alive, alive, alive
like a scarlet fish
but time
passed by in rags and darkness
and the heartbeat of the fish
was drowned:
water, water, water
the past continues falling
although it’s gripping
onto thorns
and roots;
it has been, it has been, and now
memories mean nothing:
and now the heavy eyelid
covers the light of the eye
and that which lived
no longer lives:
what we were we are not.
And words, although the letters have
the same transparencies and sounds,
now change, and the mouth changes:
the same mouth is another mouth now:
they changed, lips, skin, circulation,
another being has occupied my skeleton:
what was once in us is no longer:
it has gone, but if they call, we answer
“I’m here” knowing we are not,
that what once was, was and is lost,
was lost in the past and does not return.