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The Invisible Man by Pablo Neruda

By area51

I laugh,
I smile
at the old poets,
and love all the
poetry they wrote,
all the dew,
moon, diamond, drops
of submerged silver
with which my elder brother
adorned the rose;
I smile;
they always say "I,"
at every turn
something happens,
it's always "I,"
only they or
the dear heart they love
walk through the streets,
only they,
no fisherman pass by,
or booksellers,
no masons pass by,
no one falls
from a scaffolding,
no one suffers,
no one loves,
except my poor brother,
the poet,
everything happens
to him
and to his dear beloved,
no one lives
but him, him alone,
no one weeps from hunger
or from anger,
in his poems no one suffers
because he can't
pay the rent,
in poetry no one
is ever thrown into the street
with all his furniture,
and nothing happens
in the factories,
no, nothing,
umbrellas and goblets are manufactured,
weapons and locomotives,
ores are mined
by scraping hell,
there is a strike,
soldiers come
and fire,
they fire against the people,
which is to say,
against poetry,
but my brother
the poet
was in love,
or was suffering
because all his emotion
is for the sea,
he loves remote ports
for their names,
and he writes about oceans
he doesn't know,
when life is as full
as an ear of corn with grain
he passes by, never knowing
how to harvest it,
he rides the waves
without ever touching land,
and, occasionally,
he is profoundly moved
and melancholy,
he is too big
to fit inside his skin,
he gets tangled and untangles himself,
he declares he is maudit,
with great difficulty he carries the cross
of darkness,
he believes that he is different from
anyone else in the world,
he eats bread every day
but he's never seen a
or gone to a meeting
of a baker's union,
and so my poor brother
is deliberately dark,
he twists and writhes
and finds himself
that's the word,
I am no better
than my brother,
but I smile,
because when I walk through the streets
?the only one who does not exist?
life flows around me
like rivers,
I am the only one
who is invisible,
no mysterious shadows,
no gloom and darkness,
everyone speaks to me,
everyone wants to tell me things,
to talk about their relatives,
their misery and
their joy,
everyone passes by, and everyone
tells me something,
look at all the things they do!
They cut wood,
string electric lines,
bake bread late into the night,
our daily bread,
with an iron pick
they pierce the entrails
of the earth
and convert the iron
into locks,
they climb into the sky and
carry letters and sobs and kisses,
someone is standing
in every doorway,
someone is being born,
or the one I love is waiting for me,
and as I walk by, things
ask me to sing them,
but I haven't time,
I must think about everything,
I must go home,
go by the Party office;
what can I do,
everything asks me
to speak,
everything asks me
to sing, sing forever,
everything is saturated with
dreams and sound,
life is a box
filled with songs, the box opens
and a flock
of birds
flies out
and wants to tell me something,
perching on my shoulders,
life is a struggle,
like an advancing river,
and men
want to tell me,
tell you,
why they struggle,
and, if they die,
why they die,
and I walk by and I haven't
time for so many lives,
I want
them all to live
through my life,
to sing through my song,
I am not important,
I have no time
for my own affairs,
night and day
I must write down what's happening,
not forgetting anyone.
It's true that suddenly
I get tired,
I look at the stars,
I lie down in the grass, an insect
the color of a violin goes by,
I place my arm across
a small breast
or beneath the waist
of the woman I love,
and I look at the hard
of the night trembling
with frozen constellations,
I feel a wave of mysteries
rising in my soul,
weeping in corners,
melancholy adolescence,
I feel sleepy
and I sleep
like a log,
I am immediately
with or without the stars,
with or without my love,
and when I get up
the night is gone,
the street has awakened before me,
the poor girls of the neighborhood
are on their way to work,
fisherman are returning
from the sea,
in new shoes
are going down into the mines,
everything's alive,
hurrying to and fro,
and I scarcely have time
to get into my clothes,
I must run:
no one must
pass by without my knowing
where he's going,
what he's doing.
I cannot live
without life,
without man's being man,
and I run and look and listen
and sing,
stars have nothing
to do with me,
solitude bears no flowers,
no fruit.
For my life, give me
all lives,
give me all the sorrow
of all the world
and I will transform it
into hope.
Give me all the joys,
even the most secret,
for if not,
how will they be known?
I must tell of them,
give me
the daily
because these things are my song,
and so we will go together,
shoulder to shoulder,
all men,
my song unites them:
the song of the invisible man
who sings with all men.

   Comments: 5     Raters: 7     May 23, 2006 at 1:22pm         


The opinions expressed in this journal are of the author and not necessarily of Naseeb.

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  Comments on this journal

area51 (May 26, 2006 at 2:51am)
Kaniza - ive been meaning to watch Il Postino for some time iA this weekend - i'll have to check out Seven Swords - have you seen taoism drunkard? That movie is off the hook ridiculous. I don't think they even have it on tape or DVD.. you have to see it in a theater..

And how did you bruise your arm? Playing buzkashi again?
area51 (May 24, 2006 at 12:31pm)
Walaykum salaam Kaniza. I'm doing great thanks. What's new?
LilacRose (May 23, 2006 at 2:30pm)
5 *'s MashaAllah
area51 (May 23, 2006 at 1:34pm)
Haha.. at least it wasn't Dwinelle.. try riding your bike around in THAT.. let alone walking.
aawdff66 (May 23, 2006 at 1:31pm)
i think i had to read this in Comp Lit 41B (Women and Literature)*. for some reason, everyone in the college of engin. was forced to take classes from a list entitled "Literature and Values"

i think i rode my bike around in barrows hall to protest my d+. oh wells