Death Poems - Poems For Death - Nothing But Death

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Nothing But Death - Poem by Pablo Neruda

There are cemeteries that are lonely,
graves full of bones that do not make a sound,
the heart moving through a tunnel,
in it darkness, darkness, darkness,
like a shipwreck we die going into ourselves,
as though we were drowning inside our hearts,
as though we lived falling out of the skin into the soul.

And there are corpses,
feet made of cold and sticky clay,
death is inside the bones,
like a barking where there are no dogs,
coming out from bells somewhere, from graves somewhere,
growing in the damp air like tears of rain.

Sometimes I see alone
coffins under sail,
embarking with the pale dead, with women that have dead hair,
with bakers who are as white as angels,
and pensive young girls married to notary publics,
caskets sailing up the vertical river of the dead,
the river of dark purple,
moving upstream with sails filled out by the sound of death,
filled by the sound of death which is silence.

Death arrives among all that sound
like a shoe with no foot in it, like a suit with no man in it,
comes and knocks, using a ring with no stone in it, with no
finger in it,
comes and shouts with no mouth, with no tongue, with no
throat.
Nevertheless its steps can be heard
and its clothing makes a hushed sound, like a tree.

I'm not sure, I understand only a little, I can hardly see,
but it seems to me that its singing has the color of damp violets,
of violets that are at home in the earth,
because the face of death is green,
and the look death gives is green,
with the penetrating dampness of a violet leaf
and the somber color of embittered winter.

But death also goes through the world dressed as a broom,
lapping the floor, looking for dead bodies,
death is inside the broom,
the broom is the tongue of death looking for corpses,
it is the needle of death looking for thread.

Death is inside the folding cots:
it spends its life sleeping on the slow mattresses,
in the black blankets, and suddenly breathes out:
it blows out a mournful sound that swells the sheets,
and the beds go sailing toward a port
where death is waiting, dressed like an admiral.


Translated by Robert Bly


Comments about Nothing But Death by Pablo Neruda

  • Rookie - 133 Points Amergin Oak (6/7/2016 12:33:00 AM)

    Very original and well written..Thank you for sharing this poem (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Freshman - 573 Points Teenage Mawuto (4/28/2016 8:30:00 AM)

    one of the best poems in the world, viva Neruda! (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 9,377 Points Amar Agarwala (11/21/2015 8:16:00 PM)

    Pablo Neruda, is amongst the greatest poets of Spain. His work is marvelous. (Report) Reply

    Gold Star - 9,377 Points Amar Agarwala (6/29/2016 7:49:00 PM)

    Thanks for correction me, Paula.

    Rookie - 0 Points Paula Barrionuevo (6/29/2016 6:01:00 PM)

    He is not from Spain, he is actually from Chile.

Read all 11 comments »

Poems About Death

  1. 1. Let Me Die A Youngman's Death , Roger McGough
  2. 2. And Death Shall Have No Dominion , Dylan Thomas
  3. 3. Death Be Not Proud , John Donne
  4. 4. Death Is Nothing At All , Henry Scott Holland
  5. 5. Because I Could Not Stop For Death , Emily Dickinson
  6. 6. A Refusal To Mourn The Death, By Fire, O.. , Dylan Thomas
  7. 7. Nothing But Death , Pablo Neruda
  8. 8. Father Death Blues , Allen Ginsberg
  9. 9. A Dream Of Death , William Butler Yeats
  10. 10. A Poet's Death Is His Life Iv , Khalil Gibran
  11. 11. A Death Blow Is A Life Blow To Some , Emily Dickinson
  12. 12. Angel Of Death (Death Death Death Dea.. , Udiah (witness to Yah)
  13. 13. Death Wants More Death , Charles Bukowski
  14. 14. An Irish Airman Forsees His Death , William Butler Yeats
  15. 15. The Death Of The Ball Turret Gunner , Randall Jarrell
  16. 16. A City's Death By Fire , Derek Walcott
  17. 17. The Beauty Of Death Xiv , Khalil Gibran
  18. 18. After Death , Sara Teasdale
  19. 19. A Funeral Poem On The Death Of C. E. An .. , Phillis Wheatley
  20. 20. Death , Rainer Maria Rilke
  21. 21. Death Leaves Us Homesick, Who Behind , Emily Dickinson
  22. 22. On The Death Of A Young Lady Of Five Yea.. , Phillis Wheatley
  23. 23. First Death In Nova Scotia , Elizabeth Bishop
  24. 24. A Ballad Of Death , Algernon Charles Swinburne
  25. 25. Death Xxvii , Khalil Gibran
  26. 26. The Death Of Joy Gardner , Benjamin Zephaniah
  27. 27. Gacela Of The Dark Death , Federico García Lorca
  28. 28. A Thought For A Lonely Death-Bed , Elizabeth Barrett Browning
  29. 29. On The Death Of That Most Excellent Lady, , Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz
  30. 30. I Have A Rendezvous With Death , Alan Seeger
  31. 31. Death &Amp; Fame , Allen Ginsberg
  32. 32. On The Death Of Anne Brontë , Charlotte Brontë
  33. 33. Go Down, Death , James Weldon Johnson
  34. 34. On Death , Anne Killigrew
  35. 35. Death Fugue , Paul Celan
  36. 36. For The Anniversary Of My Death , William Stanley Merwin
  37. 37. Love &Amp; Fame &Amp; Death , Charles Bukowski
  38. 38. The Death Of The Hired Man , Robert Frost
  39. 39. On Hearing Of A Death , Rainer Maria Rilke
  40. 40. Fugue Of Death , Paul Celan
  41. 41. Death , Heinrich Heine
  42. 42. If Death Is Kind , Sara Teasdale
  43. 43. As At Thy Portals Also Death , Walt Whitman
  44. 44. Death Is A Dialogue Between , Emily Dickinson
  45. 45. A Satirical Elegy On The Death Of A Late.. , Jonathan Swift
  46. 46. Death , William Butler Yeats
  47. 47. All But Death, Can Be Adjusted , Emily Dickinson
  48. 48. Death Sets A Thing Of Signigicant , Emily Dickinson
  49. 49. The Death Of The Flowers , William Cullen Bryant
  50. 50. Death Of A Cockroach , Robert William Service
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