Saturday, December 14, 2013

December 14, 2013 meeting of the DC Politics and Prose Poets Society



Today Isn’t Everything
by Pablo Neruda

Something of yesterday clings to today,
a flag or a potsherd;
or simply a notion of light,
the scum on a midnight’s aquarium,
an unwithering thread---
essential tenacity, gold in the air:
something persists, whatever passes away
a little diminished, to fall under the arrows
of the hostile sun and its combats.

Else, why
in the glowing autonomy
of the positive day
that we lived
did a portent of seagulls
stay on, circling back as if it would stagger
the mix of its blue with the blue
that had vanished?

I tell you:

Inside the light
your soul makes its circle,
refining itself to extinction, 
or enlarging its rings like the stroke of a bell.

And between death and rebirth
the space is less grand
than we thought, the frontier
less implacable.
Light’s shape is round as a ring
and we move ourselves by its movements.

Translation: Ben Belitt
From Late and Posthumous Poems: 1968-1974

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