Pablo Neruda: “So That You Will Hear Me”

So That You Will Hear Me

So that you will hear me
my words grow thin sometimes
like the footprints of seagulls upon the beaches.

Necklace, drunken bell
for your hands smooth as grapes.

And I watch my words from off in the distance.
They are more yours than mine.
They cling to my old sufferings like ivy vines.

They climb that way upon the clammy walls.
And you are to blame for this cruel game.

They are fleeing from my familiar, darkened cave.
For you fill up everything, you fill up everything.

Before you, the solitude you occupy was populated
by those more used to my sadness than you.

Now I want them to say what I want to say to you
so that you will hear me as I want you to hear me.

The wind of agony still drags them along.
Sometimes hurricane dreams still overthrow them.
In my painful voice, you can hear other voices.

Lament of old mouths, blood of old supplications.
Love me, my love. Don’t forsake me. Follow me.
Follow me, love, on this wave of agony.

For my words have been stained by your love.
For you occupy everything, you occupy everything.

I am making them into an endless necklace
for your white hands, smooth as grapes.

Pablo Neruda

Translated from Spanish by Paul Weinfield, © 2014

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