Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tie Your Heart to Mine, Love

I love reading poetry in other languages. Or rather, I guess I should say I love reading poetry in Spanish, since that's the only other language I can read. I think there's something magical in the fact that beauty, love, sadness, death, are all universal, and that the same feelings can be evoked even in translation. I love that every translation is a little different, and yet it can be the same poem.

Anyway, here's a poem by Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, in Spanish and English. I think it's lovely.

De noche, amada, amarra tu corazón al mío
De noche, amada, amarra tu corazón al mío
y que ellos en el sueño derroten las tinieblas
como un doble tambor combatiendo en el bosque
contra el espeso muro de las hojas mojadas.

Nocturna travesía, brasa negra del sueño
interceptando el hilo de las uvas terrestres
con la puntualidad de un tren descabellado
que sombra y piedras frías sin cesar arrastrara.

Por eso, amor, amárrame el movimiento puro,
a la tenacidad que en tu pecho golpea
con las alas de un cisne sumergido,

para que a las preguntas estrelladas del cielo
responda nuestro sueño con una sola llave,
con una sola puerta cerrada por la sombra.


Tie your heart at night to mine, love,
Tie your heart at night to mine, love,
and both will defeat the darkness
like twin drums beating in the forest
against the heavy wall of wet leaves.

Night crossing: black coal of dream
that cuts the thread of earthly orbs
with the punctuality of a headlong train
that pulls cold stone and shadow endlessly.

Love, because of it, tie me to a purer movement,
to the grip on life that beats in your breast,
with the wings of a submerged swan,

So that our dream might reply
to the sky's questioning stars
with one key, one door closed to shadow.

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