Friday, February 03, 2006

To the late Brigid

In belated honour of St. Brigid's day (a lovely example of the all-encompassing maw of an "infectious culture" if ever I saw one), a poem by Pablo Neruda from Cien sonetos de amor. Neruda's work is filled with gems; I just happened to have this book within reach of my computer, because I miss my fiance quite fiercely, and I opened it at random.

The earch has known you for a long time now:
you are as firm as bread, or wood;
you are a body, a cluster of absolute substances;
you have an acacia's gravity, the weight of a golden vegetable.

I know you exist, not only because your eyes fly open
and shed their light on things, like an oen window--
but also because you were molded in clay, you were fired
in Chillan, in an astounded adobe oven.

Beings: they dissolve like the air, or water, or the cold.
And they are vague, they vanish when time touches them,
as if before death they crumbled into dust.

But you will fall with me like a rock into the grave:
thanks to our love, which will never waste away,
the earth will continue to live.

That last stanza is very moving to me right now, as we plan our wedding. Roll it around in your mind for a while.

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