Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Neruda birds

One thing that I have tried to do during the last two trips I led in Chile is read Pablo Neruda poems to my guests from this great illustrated book of Neruda bird poems from Lynx Edicions. I have tried to read poems that are pertinent to the birds we see on our trip but I haven't been very good about getting many poems in. One that I always manage to read is one that I have pretty much memorized, not only because it is short but because it is so evocative of the bird he writes about.


Sobre la nieve natatoria
una larga pregunta negra


Above the swimming snow
a long black question

Thanks to David Ringer at Search and Serendipity for prompting this post with the short Neruda quote in his blog header. This quote is from another of my favorite Neruda bird poems titled "The poet says good-bye to the birds"
The last stanza reads in full:

A people's poet
provincial and birder,
I've wandered the world in search of life:
bird by bird I've come to know the earth:
discovered where the fire flames aloft:
the expenditure of energy
and my disinterestedness were rewarded,
even though no one paid me for it,
because I received those wings in my soul
and immobility never held me down.


Trixie said...

Neruda and birds together. Wonderful! That would be a divine trip combination for me. I will keep checking in with you, I really like your journal.

david said...

Have you seen the film Il Postino? It was my introduction to Neruda, but it doesn't have much to do with birds. I need to improve my Spanish so I can appreciate Neruda's poetry more fully in his mother tongue.

Anthony said...

What a great post. I love Neruda and his poems and it's great to put them together here with your topic.