Pablo Neruda



      Sidereal eagle, vine of mist


Sidereal eagle, vine of mist.
Lost bastion, blind scimitar.
Starry belt, solemn bread.
Torrential ladder, vast eyelid.
Triangular tunic, pollen of stone.
Lamp of granite, bread of stone.
Mineral serpent, rose of stone.
Buried ship, spring of stone.
Horse of the moon, light of stone.
Equinoctial T-square, vapor of stone.
Final geometry, book of stone.
Iceberg wrought by the gales.
Madrepore of submerged time.
Wall by fingers softened.
Roof by feathers assailed.
Clusters of mirrors, foundations of tempest.
Thrones overturned by the clinging vine.
Reign of the pitiless claw.
Whirlwind suspended on the slope.
Motionless cataract of turquoise.
Patriarchal bell of the sleepers.
Shackle of subjugated snows.
Iron lying upon its statues.
Inaccessible barred tempest.
Hands of puma, sanguinary rock.
Shade-giving tower, discussion of snow.
Night upraised in fingers and roots.
Window of the mists, hardened dove.
Nocturnal plant, statue of thunders.
Essential mountain-range, marine roof.
Architecture of lost eagles.
Twine of the sky, bee of the heights.
Bloody level, constructed star.
Mineral bubble, moon of quartz.
Andean serpent, forehead of amaranth.
Dome of silence, pure fatherland.
Beloved of the sea, tree of cathedrals.
Cluster of salt, cherry tree of black wings.
Snowy teeth, cold thunder.
Scratched moon, threatening stone.
Mane of the cold, stirring of the air.
Volcano of hands, dark cataract.
Wave of silver, direction of time.


     –from Summits of Macchu Picchu, IX
       Spanish; trans. Kate Flores


Pablo Neruda, Spanish; trans. Kate Flores, The
World's Best, ed. Whit Burnett, The Dial Press,
1950.