eyes purer than mine

“No, my dog used to gaze at me,
paying me the attention I need,
the attention required
to make a vain person like me understand
that, being a dog, he was wasting time,
but, with those eyes so much purer than mine,
he’d keep on gazing at me
with a look that reserved for me alone
all his sweet and shaggy life,
always near me, never troubling me,
and asking nothing.”

Pablo Neruda

The weary one

The weary one, orphan 
of the masses, the self, 
the crushed one, the one made of concrete, 
the one without a country in crowded restaurants, 
he who wanted to go far away, always farther away, 
didn’t know what to do there, whether he wanted
or didn’t want to leave or remain on the island, 
the hesitant one, the hybrid, entangled in himself, 
had no place here: the straight-angled stone, 
the infinite look of the granite prism, 
the circular solitude all banished him: 
he went somewhere else with his sorrows, 
he returned to the agony of his native land, 
to his indecisions, of winter and summer.

by Pablo Neruda



“Hybridity … is a concept that confronts and problematises boundaries, although it does not erase them. As such hybridity always implies an unsettling of identities. It is precisely our encounters at the border – where self and other, the local and global, Asian and Western meet – that make us realise how riven with potential miscommunication and intercultural conflict these encounters can be. This tells us that hybridity, the very condition of in-betweenness, can never be a question of simple
shaking hands, of harmonious merger and fusion. Hybridity is not the solution, but alerts us to the difficulty of living with differences, their ultimately irreducible resistance to complete dissolution. In other words, hybridity is a heuristic device for
analysing complicated entanglement.”


The names of God

The names of God and especially those of His representative 
Who is called Jesus or Christ according to holy books and 
someone’s mouth 
These names have been used, worn out and left 
On the shores of rivers of human lives 
Like the empty shells of a mollusk. 
However when we touch these sacred but exhausted 
Names, these wounded scattered petals 
Which have come out of the oceans of love and fear 
Something still remains, a sip of water, 
A rainbow footprint that still shimmers in the light. 
While the names of God were used 
By the best and the worst, by the clean and the dirty 
By the white and the black, by bloody murderers 
And by victims flaming gold with napalm 
While Nixon with his hands 
Of Cain blessed those whom he condemned to death, 
While fewer and fewer divine footprints were found 
on the beach 
People began to study colors, 
The future of honey, the sign of uranium 
They looked with anxiety and hope for the possibilities 
Of killing themselves or not killing themselves, of organizing 
themselves into a fabric 
Of going further on, of breaking through limits without stopping 

What we came across in these blood thirsty times 
With their smoke of burning trash, their dead ashes 
As we weren’t able to stop looking 
We often stopped to look at the names of God 
We lifted them with tenderness because they reminded us 
Of our ancestors, of the first people, those who said the prayers 
Those who discovered the hymn that united them in misfortune 
And now seeing the empty fragments which sheltered those 
ancient people 
We feel those smooth substances, 
Worn out and used up by good and by evil.

by Pablo Neruda


A dog has died

By Pablo Neruda

“My dog has died.

I buried him in the garden
next to a rusted old machine.

Some day I’ll join him right there,
but now he’s gone with his shaggy coat,
his bad manners and his cold nose,
and I, the materialist, who never believed
in any promised heaven in the sky
for any human being,
I believe in a heaven I’ll never enter.

Yes, I believe in a heaven for all dogdom
where my dog waits for my arrival
waving his fan-like tail in friendship.

Ai, I’ll not speak of sadness here on Earth,
of having lost a companion
who was never servile.”