Poetry by Pablo Neruda

Keeping Quiet 
by Pablo Neruda 

Now we will count to twelve 
and we will all keep still 
for once on the face of the earth, 
let's not speak in any language; 
let's stop for a second, 
and not move our arms so much. 

It would be an exotic moment 
without rush, without engines; 
we would all be together 
in a sudden strangeness. 

Fisherman in the cold sea 
would not harm whales 
and the man gathering salt 
would not look at his hurt hands. 

Those who prepare green wars, 
wars with gas, wars with fire, 
victories with no survivors, 
would put on clean clothes 
and walk about with their brothers 
in the shade, doing nothing. 

What I want should not be confused 
with total inactivity. 
Life is what it is about . . .  

If we were not so single-minded 
about keeping our lives moving, 
and for once could do nothing, 
perhaps a huge silence 
might interrupt this sadness 
of never understanding ourselves 
and of threatening ourselves with 

Perhaps the earth can teach us 
as when everything seems to be dead in winter 
and later proves to be alive. 

Now I'll count up to twelve 
and you keep quiet and I will go. 

If Each Day Falls  
by Pablo Neruda 

If each day falls  
inside each night,  
there exists a well  
where clarity is imprisoned.  
We need to sit on the rim  
of the well of darkness  
and fish for fallen light  
with patience. 

Sonnet 46 
by Pablo Neruda 
Of all the stars I admired, drenched 
in various rivers and mists, 
I chose only the one I love. 
Since then I sleep with the night. 
Of all the waves, one wave and another wave, 
green sea, green chill, branchings of green, 
I chose only the one wave, 
the indivisible wave of your body. 
All the waterdrops, all the roots, 
all the threads of light gathered to me here; 
they came to me sooner or later. 
I wanted your hair, all for myself. 
From all the graces my homeland offered 
I chose only your savage heart.