some of my favorite poems.
Don’t Ask Me
by Pablo Neruda (tr. R Hoffman)
My heart is worn out
with knowing so many things,
as if I were lugging rocks
of different sizes in a sack,
or as if rain is falling
ceaselessly in my memory.
Don’t ask me.
I don’t know what to say.
I have no idea what happened.
Nobody else knew either,
so I kept going, in a fog,
convincing myself that nothing had occurred,
looking for fruit in the streets,
ideas in the fields,
and I came to the conclusion
everyone was right,
I have been asleep too long.
So let them go ahead and load me down,
not only rocks this time but shadows, too,
and not only shadows but blood.
So that’s how things are with me, boy,
but they’re also not like that at all
because, in spite of everything, I’m alive,
my health is excellent,
both my fingernails and my soul are still growing,
I come and go across frontiers,
make claims, take readings, get my bearings.
If they want to know more,
I get confused about where I’ve been,
But if they think they hear grief’s howl
Around my house, they’re wrong.
Love is clear weather,
Weeping is time wasted.
So, about what I remember
and about what I don’t,
about what I know and used to know,
and all I’ve forgotten
of what is by now long gone,
about the dead, who never heard from me,
and wanted, maybe, to see me,
they had best not ask. Instead
let them put a hand here on my vest
and they’ll feel me trembling,
a big sack of heavy rocks.
The Second Coming
by william butler yeats
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?