Wide World of Quotes > Pablo Neruda Quotes


Pablo Neruda
Chilean poet
(1904-73)



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Preguntaréis ¿por qué su poesía
no nos habla del sueño, de las hojas,
de los grandes volcanes de su país natal?

Venid a ver la sangre por las calles,
venid a ver
la sangre por las calles,
venid a ver la sangre
por las calles!


-- "Explico Algunos Cosas" ("I'm Explaining a Few Things or I Explain a Few Things"), Tercera Residencia (Third Residence), IV, stanza 9.

A long section of an English translation of this poem (see below) was quoted by British poet Harold Pinter in his Nobel Speech in 2005:
http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/2005/pinter-lecture-e.html

And one morning all that was burning,
one morning the bonfires
leapt out of the earth
devouring human beings
and from then on fire,
gunpowder from then on,
and from then on blood.
Bandits with planes and Moors,
bandits with finger-rings and duchesses,
bandits with black friars spattering blessings
came through the sky to kill children
and the blood of children ran through the streets
without fuss, like children's blood.

Jackals that the jackals would despise
stones that the dry thistle would bite on and spit out,
vipers that the vipers would abominate.

Face to face with you I have seen the blood
of Spain tower like a tide
to drown you in one wave
of pride and knives.

Treacherous
generals:
see my dead house,
look at broken Spain:
from every house burning metal flows
instead of flowers
from every socket of Spain
Spain emerges
and from every dead child a rifle with eyes
and from every crime bullets are born
which will one day find
the bull's eye of your hearts.

And you will ask: why doesn't his poetry
speak of dreams and leaves
and the great volcanoes of his native land.

Come and see the blood in the streets.
Come and see
the blood in the streets.
Come and see the blood
in the streets!

-- Pablo Neruda, "I'm explaining a few things" (poem) (English translation by William Merwin), as quoted by British dramatist and winner of the 2005 Nobel Prize for Literature, Harold Pinter in his 2005 Nobel Prize speech

An interesting discussion of the above poem by Pablo Neruda:
"Come and See the Blood in the Streets!"
By Nicholas Thompson
The New Yorker, April 17, 2013


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The selection of the above quotes and the writing of the accompanying notes was performed by the author David Paul Wagner.

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