Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Silence (Pablo Neruda / Octavio Paz)

The following translation juxtaposes the poems on silence (both titled "Silencio") by two South-American poets, the Chilean Pablo Neruda and the Mexican Octavio Paz. The painting is "Florimel" by British painter Henry Ryland (1856-1924). Merry Christmas & Blessings for 2013!

 (Pablo Neruda / Octavio Paz)


I, who grew up inside a tree,
I had a lot to tell the world,
But surrounded by silence I learnt,
That I had a lot to keep quiet.
And this one gets to know by growing
Without other joy but to grow
Without more passion than substance
Without more action than innocence.

And when from the depths of song
A note vibrates, grows and wanes
Until in other harmonies
It melds into the depths of silence,
Hark! there comes another silence
Atop a steeple, sharp as a sword
That soars and lifts, suspending us
And as it soars, it lets go
Memories and hopes, lies big and small.
And though we want to cry
In our throat, dies the scream:
We flow into the sea of silence,
Wherein all silences are mute.

And inside us, time becomes golden
Called upon from a great height
To ripen into orange.


  1. Very nice. Where did you get your English translations from for the poems?

    1. Thanks! They're mine... —okei