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What Spain Was Like | Poem by Pablo Neruda


 
Pablo Neruda
translated by Jodey Bateman

 
What Spain Was Like
Spain was a taut, dry drum-head
Daily beating a dull thud
Flatlands and eagle's nest
Silence lashed by the storm.

How much, to the point of weeping, in my soul
I love your hard soil, your poor bread,
Your poor people, how much in the deep place
Of my being there is still the lost flower
Of your wrinkled villages, motionless in time
And your metallic meadows
Stretched out in the moonlight through the ages,
Now devoured by a false god.

All your confinement, your animal isolation
While you are still conscious
Surrounded by the abstract stones of silence,
Your rough wine, your smooth wine
Your violent and dangerous vineyards.

Solar stone, pure among the regions
Of the world, Spain streaked
With blood and metal, blue and victorious
Proletarian Spain, made of petals and bullets
Unique, alive, asleep - resounding.

(Translator's note - this poem refers to the time Neruda spent in Spain during the Spanish Civil War which lasted from 1936 to 1939.)


 
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Other Jodey Bateman translations of Pablo Neruda:
I'll Explain Some Things
Soneto LXXIII
What Spain Was Like
An Ode For Ironing
Beasts
Ode to a Woman Gardening
Ode To Bird Watching
Ode to Broken Things
Ode to Clothing / Oda al Traje
Ode to Olive Oil / Oda al Aceite
Ode to Some Yellow Flowers
Ode to the Artichoke
Ode to the Dictionary
Ode to the Lemon
Ode to the Piano
Ode to the Smell of Wood
Opium In The East (excerpt)
Poem Twenty
GAUTAMA CHRIST
For Everybody
From the Heights of Maccho Picchu
Poems by Pablo Neruda, Pulitizer Prize winner
Statues
Status Report
The Arrival in Madrid
The Heavenly Poets
The Old Women of the Ocean
The Turtle
To Sit Down
To the Foot From Its Child
Triangles

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