I am not Pablo Neruda

Walking Around – Pablo Neruda – an Anthology


It happens that I tire of being man.

It happens that I enter tailorshops and moviehouses

Shriveled up, impenetrable, like a swan made of felt

Navigating a water of origin and ash.


The smell of barbershops makes me break into hoarse sobs.

I want only rest of stones or of wool,

I want only to see no more establishments nor gardens,

no more goods, no spectacles, no elevators.


It happens that I tire of my feet and my nails

and my hair and my shadow.

It happens that I tire of being man.


Nevertheless, it would be delicious

to scare a notary with a cut lily

or give death to a nun with a blow to the ear.

It would be beautiful

to go through the streets with a green knife

shouting ‘till death of cold.


I do not want to go on being a root in the darkness,

hesitant, extended, shivering with dreams,

downward, in the wet tripe of the earth,

absorbing and thinking, consuming every day.


I do not want to be the inheritor of so many misfortunes.

I do not want to continue as root and as tomb,

as lone tunnel, as cellar with the dead,

stiff with cold, making me die with sadness.


That’s why Monday blazes like oil

when it sees me coming with my jail-face,

howling in its path like a blown tire,

and with steps of hot blood goes into the night.


And it pushes me to certain corners, to certain damp houses,

to hospitals where bones fly out the window,

to certain cobblers’ that smell of vinegar,

to streets, startling as cracks.


There are sulfur-coloured birds and horrible intestines

hanging from the doors of houses that I hate,

there are false teeth, forgotten in a coffeepot,

there are mirrors

that should have cried of shame and fear,

there are umbrellas everywhere, and poisons, and navels.


I stroll along with calm, with eyes, with shoes,

with fury, with indifference,

I go on, crossing offices and orthopedic shops,

and patios with clotheslines hanging:

underwear, towels, and shirts that cry

slow and dirty tears.


Works Referenced

K., Michael. "Walking Around (Thing)@Everything2.com" Everything2. 04 Jan. 2003. 17 Apr. 2006 .

Neruda, Pablo. "Walking Around." Selected Poems of Pablo Neruda. Ed. Nathaniel Tarn. London: The Chaucer P, 1970. 104+.

---. "Pablo Neruda - `Walking Around'" Plagiarist Poetry Sites. Trans. Robert Bly. 21 Nov. 2001. 17 Apr. 2006 .

---. "Walking Around." Selected Poems of Pablo Neruda. Trans. W.S. Merwin. Ed. Nathanial Tarn. London: The Chaucer P, 1970. 105+.