A Poem (and a drawing)


I grew, immersed in natural waters

like the mollusc in marine phosphorescence.

In me sounded the crusty salt

forming my singular skeleton.

How to explain — almost without

the blue and bitter movement of breathing,

one by one, the waves repeated

what I sensed and trembled with

until the salt and the spray formed me.

The scorn and desire of a wave,

the green rhythm which at its most secret

set up a tower of transparency.

That secret stayed and soon

I felt myself beating with it,

my voice growing with the water.

— Pablo Neruda

(Translated from the Spanish by Alastair Reid).