Sunday, September 15, 2013

Poem of the Week

The Horses

From the window I saw the horses.

I was in Berlin, in winter. The light
was without light, the sky without sky.

The air white like wet bread.

And from my window, a vacant arena,
bitten by the teeth of winter.

Suddenly, led by a man,
ten horses, stepped out into the mist.

Hardly had they surged forth, like flame,
than to my eyes they filled the whole world,
empty till then. Perfect, ablaze,
they were like ten gods with wide pure hoofs,
with manes like a dream of salt.

Their rumps were worlds and oranges.

Their colour was honey , amber, fire.

Their necks were towers
cut from the stone of pride,
And behind their transparent eyes
energy raged, like a prisoner.

And there, in the silence, in the middle
Of the day, of the dark, slovenly winter,
The intense horses were blood
And rhythm, the animating treasure of life.

I looked, I looked and was reborn: without knowing it,
There, was the fountain, the dance of gold, the sky,
The fire that revived in beauty.

I have forgotten that dark Berlin winter.

I will not forget the light of the horses.

Pablo Neruda. Translated from Spanish by Stephen Mitchell. 


Sue Elvis said...


I like this poem very much!

"The air white like wet bread..." The poem is full of images. I can just see those horses. I wonder if Pablo Neruda has written other similar poems. He's a poet I've never heard of. I will have to do some research!

Wendy said...

Oh, he's wonderful! I think you would particularly like "The Word." It's long but amazing!