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Walking Around Analysis



Author: Poetry of Pablo Neruda Type: Poetry Views: 2698

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Neruda & Vallejo: Selected Poems1971It so happens I am sick of being a man.

And it happens that I walk into tailorshops and moviehouses

dried up, waterproof, like a swan made of felt

steering my way in a water of wombs and ashes.The smell of barbershops makes me break into hoarsesobs.

The only thing I want is to lie still like stones or wool.

The only thing I want is to see no more stores, no gardens,

no more goods, no spectacles, no elevators.It so happens that I am sick of my feet and my nails

and my hair and my shadow.

It so happens I am sick of being a man.Still it would be marvelous

to terrify a law clerk with a cut lily,

or kill a nun with a blow on the ear.

It would be great

to go through the streets with a green knife

letting out yells until I died of the cold.I don't want to go on being a root in the dark,

insecure, stretched out, shivering with sleep,

going on down, into the moist guts of the earth,

taking in and thinking, eating every day.I don't want so much misery.

I don't want to go on as a root and a tomb,

alone under the ground, a warehouse with corpses,

half frozen, dying of grief.That's why Monday, when it sees me coming

with my convict face, blazes up like gasoline,

and it howls on its way like a wounded wheel,

and leaves tracks full of warm blood leading toward thenight.And it pushes me into certain corners, into some moisthouses,

into hospitals where the bones fly out the window,

into shoeshops that smell like vinegar,

and certain streets hideous as cracks in the skin.There are sulphur-colored birds, and hideous intestines

hanging over the doors of houses that I hate,

and there are false teeth forgotten in a coffeepot,

there are mirrors

that ought to have wept from shame and terror,

there are umbrellas everywhere, and venoms, and umbilicalcords.I stroll along serenely, with my eyes, my shoes,

my rage, forgetting everything,

I walk by, going through office buildings and orthopedicshops,

and courtyards with washing hanging from the line:

underwear, towels and shirts from which slow

dirty tears are falling.





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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

.: :.

I don\'t mean to cause drama, however, reading these comments is disturbing. The main topic throughout these comments is how incorrectly the poem was translated. Slightly ironic because the general theme of the poem, the reason we all ended up on this site in the first place, is going through life not realizing anything, focusing on everyday tasks and not on the big picture. One comment said the hair and nails in the poem represent attention to physical detail and how tiring and pointless it is, the translation in this case. Appreciate what was written, what someone had taken the time to translate for those who can\'t understand it in Spanish. On a side note it doesn\'t matter what word the translator uses, he translates sense for sense. The french guy at the top said it the best: \"...translations are beautiful but not faithful\" although he has quoted someone else.

| Posted on 2011-10-22 | by a guest


.: :.

I always trust a native speaker Les traductions sont commes des femmes . Lorsqui\'il sont beelles ils ne sont pas fideles...

| Posted on 2011-09-05 | by a guest


.: :.

I always trust a native speaker Les traductions sont commes des femmes . Lorsqui\'il sont beelles ils ne sont pas fideles...

| Posted on 2011-09-05 | by a guest


.: :.

Actually the poem says cafetera why is coffe pot, just saying as a spanish student doing a major in hispanic studies in the university of madrid.

| Posted on 2011-02-07 | by a guest


.: :.

>>Going into details of what the poem really means...obviously this man is tired of the daily routines and the ignorance of the world of what is going on, he explains how there are plenty of deaths but nobody pays attention. When he talks about his hair, and nails and stuff it isn't to point out his physical appearance but to demonstrate how the world is superficial. Everyone is so dwell on our physical appearance and vanity that we forget or we don't pay attention to the outside world. He's tired of being ignorant, he doesn't want to be ignorant. When you read it from MY POINT OF VIEW, you'll see its a really good poem because its true, its realistic although he uses surrealism to make you understand what he is trying to tell you. okay well this is MY opinion of the poem so don't judge x

| Posted on 2009-05-02 | by a guest


.: :.

your "corrections" are absurd. you take Bly's musical translation and turn it into stiff, uncreative literalisms.

| Posted on 2008-11-26 | by a guest


.: :.

The original word is "cafetera", not "cafeteria". Read the poem before you criticize it. I don't think Robert Bly would have made a mistake like that.

| Posted on 2008-11-25 | by a guest


.: Corrections :.

As a Guatemalan and as a student of Spanish Literature, I must make some corrections in regards to the translation. First of all, it is not: "That's why Monday, when it sees me coming with my convict face, blazes up like gasoline".

The correct translation is "That's why Monday stings like petroleum, when it sees me coming with my penitentiary-like face."

incorrect: into some moisthouses
correct: into (certain) humid houses

incorrect: and there are false teeth forgotten in a coffeepot

correct: and there are false teeth forgotten in a cafeteria

(Cafetera is coffee pot. Cafeteria is cafeteria.

incorrect: and umbilicalcords
correct: and belly buttons

ombligos doesn't signify umbilical cord

incorrect: washing hanging
correct: laundry hanging

| Posted on 2005-03-14 | by Approved Guest




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