Sunday, August 02, 2009

Poor Fellows, by Pablo Neruda

What it takes on this planet, to make love to each other in peace. Everyone pries under your sheets, everyone interferes with your loving. They say terrible things about a man and a woman, who after much milling about, all sorts of compunctions, do something unique, they both lie with each other in one bed. I ask myself whether frogs are so furtive, or sneeze as they please. Whether they whisper to each other in swamps about illegitimate frogs, or the joys of amphibious living. I ask myself if birds single out enemy birds, or bulls gossip with bullocks before they go out in public with cows. Even the roads have eyes and the parks their police. Hotels spy on their guests, windows name names, canons and squadrons debark on missions to liquidate love. All those ears and those jaws working incessantly, till a man and his girl have to raise their climax, full tilt, on a bicycle.

It's amazing how many things seem to work against love and make it into something bad, something that "good" people can only do & feel in secret. I'm not sure if that's actually the case or if it's just perception, but I think that Neruda is basically right--this tension definitely exists.

If you really like Neruda, check out Red Poppy at It's a non-profit set up to create a documentary about Neruda, publish his biography, and translate his works into English. To see our blog on Neruda’s literary activism, go to
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