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

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Ode to Sadness

Sadness, scarab
with seven crippled feet,
spiderweb egg,
scramble-brained rat,
bitch's skeleton:
No entry here.
Don't come in.
Go away.
Go back
south with your umbrella,
go back
north with your serpent's teeth.
A poet lives here.
No sadness may
cross this threshold.
Through these windows
comes the breath of the world,
fresh red roses,
flags embroidered with
the victories of the people.
No.
No entry.
Flap
your bat's wings,
I will trample the feathers
that fall from your mantle,
I will sweep the bits and pieces
of your carcass to
the four corners of the wind,
I will wring your neck,
I will stitch your eyelids shut,
I will sew your shroud,
sadness, and bury your rodent bones
beneath the springtime of an apple tree.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003


Read poems about / on: tree, red, people, wind, ode, world, rose

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

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  • Wahab Abdul (12/12/2013 1:52:00 AM)

    excellent poetry...i love it from both ends.. bravo Neruda

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  • john tiong chunghoo (7/3/2006 8:08:00 AM)

    my sadness flies away with your song, pablo.

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