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Pablo Neruda's Twenty Poems of Love, and One Desperate Song: Poem 11 (A translation)

Poema 11

Casi fuera del cielo ancla entre dos montañas
la mitad de la luna.
Girante, errante noche, la cavadora de ojos.
A ver cuántas estrellas trizadas en la charca.

Hace una cruz de luto entre mis cejas, huye.
Fragua de metales azules, noches de las calladas luchas,
mi corazón da vueltas como un volante loco.
Niña venida de tan lejos, traída de tan lejos,
a veces fulgurece su mirada debajo del cielo.
Quejumbre, tempestad, remolino de furia,
cruza encima de mi corazón, sin detenerte.
Viento de los sepulcros acarrea, destroza, dispersa tu raíz soñolienta.

Desarraiga los grandes árboles al otro lado de ella.
Pero tú, clara niña, pregunta de humo, espiga.
Era la que iba formando el viento con hojas iluminadas.
Detrás de las montañas nocturnas, blanco lirio de incendio,
allá nada puedo decir! Era hecha de todas las cosas.

Ansiedad que partiste mi pecho a cuchillazos,
es hora de seguir otro camino, donde ella no sonría.

Tempestad que enterró las campanas, turbio revuelo de tormentas
para qué tocarla ahora, para qué entristecerla.

Ay seguir el camino que se aleja de todo,
donde no está atajando la angustia, la muerte, el invierno,
con sus ojos abiertos entre el rocío.

Poem 11

Almost beyond heaven, between two mountains,
the half-moon is anchored.
Twirling, errant night, excavator of eyes,
let’s see how many stars are shattered in the ice-sharded pool.

It makes a cross of sorrow between my brows. It flees.
A forge of blue metals, of nights of noiseless struggle,
my heart spins around like a mad fly-wheel.
Girl having come from so far away, brought from so far,
the light of your gaze strikes at times below the heavens.
A complaining, stormy, whirlwind of fury
crosses above my heart, not held back.
It conveys the wind of the dead, it destroys and disperses your somnolent root.

It uproots the great trees beyond it.
But you, bright girl, a question of smoke, a tassel of maize.
You were she who continued shaping the wind with illumined leaves.
Behind the night mountains, white lily of fire,
there I can say nothing! She was made of everything.

Anxiety that departed my breast, knifed from it,
it is time to follow another road where she did not smile.

Tempest that inters the bells, troubled roundabout of storms,
why is it you touch her now, why is it you sadden her?

Ay, to go down the road that takes her far from everything,
where anguish is not part of it, nor death, nor winter,                                                                                              with its eyes open in the light rain.

Translation: Terence Clarke