A Literary Column
By Marcia Diane

So, we made it to spring. Hooray! It wasn’t too bad really, a mild winter and plenty of sweet rain to refill our aquafers. Keeping with that theme of sweetness, I want to feature one of the most passionate poets of very sweet expression. Chilean poet Pablo Neruda; 1904-1973. He is renowned for his fiery leftist politics and equally fiery poet of love. In this poem however, the sweet, sweet passion of love shines. He received the Nobel Prize in 1971.

Your Laughter

Take bread away from me, if you wish,
take air away, but
do not take from me your laughter

Do not take away the rose,
the lanceflower that you pluck,
bursts forth in your joy,
the sudden wave
of sliver born in you.

My struggle is harsh and I come back
with eyes tired
at times from having seen
the unchanging earth,
but when your laughter enters
it rises to the sky seeking me
and it opens for me all
the doors of life.

My love, in the darkest
hour your laughter
opens, and if suddenly
you see my blood staining
the stones of the street,
laugh, because your laughter
will be for my hands
like a fresh sword.

Next to the sea in the autumn,
your laughter must raise
in foamy cascade,
and in the spring, love,
I want your laughter like
the flower I was waiting for,
the blue flower, the rose
of my echoing country.

Laugh at the night,
at the day, at the moon,
laugh at the twisted
streets of the island,
laugh at this clumsy
boy who loves you,
but when I open
my eyes and close them,
when my steps go,
when my steps return,
deny me bread, air,
but never your laughter
for I would die.

From The Captain’s Verses
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