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(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973 / Parral / Chile)

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Bird

It was passed from one bird to another,
the whole gift of the day.
The day went from flute to flute,
went dressed in vegetation,
in flights which opened a tunnel
through the wind would pass
to where birds were breaking open
the dense blue air -
and there, night came in.

When I returned from so many journeys,
I stayed suspended and green
between sun and geography -
I saw how wings worked,
how perfumes are transmitted
by feathery telegraph,
and from above I saw the path,
the springs and the roof tiles,
the fishermen at their trades,
the trousers of the foam;
I saw it all from my green sky.
I had no more alphabet
than the swallows in their courses,
the tiny, shining water
of the small bird on fire
which dances out of the pollen.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003


Read poems about / on: green, water, fire, wind, sky, sun, night, spring, dance, journey, work

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Comments about this poem (Canto XII from The Heights of Macchu Picchu by Pablo Neruda )

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  • * Sunprincess * (2/2/2014 12:19:00 AM)

    .....to be a bird would be so nice...you could fly all over the world...and not have to pay for an airline ticket...plus you wouldn't have to work...it is truly the life...wish I was a bird..

    3 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • marvin brato (10/28/2013 9:17:00 AM)

    Succinct narration of the plight of a tiny bird liken to man's fate!

  • Jane Moon (3/26/2013 6:28:00 AM)

    Ah, this reminds how the exquisite, feathery beauty of a bird transcends the ordinary world, how the delicate bird flies to pollinate the flowers and create such beauty for man to admire.

  • Maxim Muyu (8/26/2010 9:55:00 AM)

    great to share such a nice poem, keep on writing more.

  • Mario A. Cepeda (9/9/2009 7:32:00 PM)

    Wow, Pablo, como un Picasso de palabras! Like a Picasso of words, you have given flight beyond alphabet! Gracias!

  • Andrew Quintana (8/18/2009 7:15:00 PM)

    What a lovely nature poem! I liked it because of the images used to convey the meaning. He's not telling us what to feel, he's just dressing it up in words that are lovely and beautiful.

  • Dana Soumbouloglou (2/1/2009 2:19:00 AM)

    Very nice poem.. nice to read

  • Jeannie Ann Clark (12/22/2007 11:37:00 AM)

    Nice writing...thank you...

  • john tiong chunghoo (7/1/2006 3:49:00 AM)

    lovely pablo. rare poem about flying up there. mine to share:

    flight
    woman
    next to me
    her lips fly away
    with prayers
    her fingers
    dancing round
    her prayer beads

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