Pablo Neruda

(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973 / Parral)

Ode To Bird Watching - Poem by Pablo Neruda

Now
Let's look for birds!
The tall iron branches
in the forest,
The dense
fertility on the ground.
The world
is wet.
A dewdrop or raindrop
shines,
a diminutive star
among the leaves.
The morning time
mother earth
is cool.
The air
is like a river
which shakes
the silence.
It smells of rosemary,
of space
and roots.
Overhead,
a crazy song.
It's a bird.
How
out of its throat
smaller than a finger
can there fall the waters
of its song?
Luminous ease!
Invisible
power
torrent
of music
in the leaves.
Sacred conversations!
Clean and fresh washed
is this
day resounding
like a green dulcimer.
I bury
my shoes
in the mud,
jump over rivulets.
A thorn
bites me and a gust
of air like a crystal
wave
splits up inside my chest.
Where
are the birds?
Maybe it was
that
rustling in the foliage
or that fleeting pellet
of brown velvet
or that displaced
perfume? That
leaf that let loose cinnamon smell
- was that a bird? That dust
from an irritated magnolia
or that fruit
which fell with a thump -
was that a flight?
Oh, invisible little
critters
birds of the devil
with their ringing
with their useless feathers.
I only want
to caress them,
to see them resplendent.
I don't want
to see under glass
the embalmed lightning.
I want to see them living.
I want to touch their gloves
of real hide,
which they never forget in
the branches
and to converse with
them
sitting on my shoulders
although they may leave
me like certain statues
undeservedly whitewashed.
Impossible.
You can't touch them.
You can hear them
like a heavenly
rustle or movement.
They converse
with precision.
They repeat
their observations.
They brag
of how much they do.
They comment
on everything that exists.
They learn
certain sciences
like hydrography.
and by a sure science
they know
where there are harvests
of grain


Comments about Ode To Bird Watching by Pablo Neruda

  • Ratnakar Mandlik (7/14/2016 10:58:00 PM)

    Fantastic flight of imagery is reflected through out the narration of bird watching experience in this great poem. Thanks for sharing it here. (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Susan Williams Susan Williams (7/14/2016 1:26:00 PM)

    I think he covered the topic of bird watching and listening to bird song totally and completely! What else is there to be said? I fell in love with this in particular: How
    out of its throat
    smaller than a finger
    can there fall the waters
    of its song?
    Luminous ease!
    Invisible
    power
    torrent
    of music
    in the leaves.
    Sacred conversations!
    Clean and fresh washed
    is this
    day resounding
    like a green dulcimer.
    Oh, to write like him! ! Except this is his voice and it cannot be imitated only admired. (Report) Reply

  • Krishnakumar Chandrasekar Nair Krishnakumar Chandrasekar Nair (7/14/2016 12:21:00 PM)

    Bird watching people still fervently do
    But not in forest or trees as you once did
    Now it goes on in beaches without a clue
    As the “birds”, run and frolic across the blue…..

    I invite readers to my page too for your valuable comments on my poetic attempts..... (Report) Reply

  • Barry Middleton Barry Middleton (7/14/2016 6:52:00 AM)

    Delightful. Makes one feel like they are there in the dripping forest with Neruda and then birds. (Report) Reply

  • Sk Nurul Huda Sk Nurul Huda (7/14/2016 5:46:00 AM)

    beautiful...it seems to me that i am in a forest......i am indulged in deep spititual thinking'''''' wordsworths pantheistic view you remind us..... (Report) Reply

  • Anthony Henriques (7/14/2016 3:42:00 AM)

    disappointing stuff from a great poet (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis Edward Kofi Louis (7/14/2016 1:23:00 AM)

    Birds and nature! ! Life and beauty. Thanks for sharing this poem with us. (Report) Reply

  • Herbert Guitang Herbert Guitang (6/12/2015 7:00:00 PM)

    Superb. Wonderful poem and beautiful thoughts (Report) Reply

  • Brian Jani Brian Jani (4/27/2014 6:13:00 AM)

    Awesome I like this poem, check mine out  (Report) Reply

Read all 9 comments »



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Poem Submitted: Monday, March 22, 2010



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