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Walking Around Analysis



Author: poem of Pablo Neruda Type: poem Views: 18

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It so happens I am sick of being a man.

And it happens that I walk into tailorshops and movie

     houses

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 hoarse

     sobs.

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 the

     night.



And it pushes me into certain corners, into some moist

     houses,

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 umbilical

     cords.

    

I stroll along serenely, with my eyes, my shoes,

my rage, forgetting everything,

I walk by, going through office buildings and orthopedic

     shops,

and courtyards with washing hanging from the line:

underwear, towels and shirts from which slow

dirty tears are falling.





Translated by Robert Bly






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