I Ask for Silence
(Glen Snyder)

NOW just leave me be.
Now get used to being without me.

I am going to close my eyes

And I only want five things,
five preferred roots.

One is endless love.

The second is to see Autumn.
It cannot be without the leaves
flying about and returning to earth.

The third is the deep Winter,
the rain that I loved, the caress
of fire in the wild cold.

In fourth place is Summer
round like a watermelon.

The fifth thing is your eyes,
my Matilde, beloved,
I don't wish to sleep without your eyes,
I don't wish to be without your gaze:
I  trade in Spring
for you to keep on looking at me.

Friends, this is what I wish.
It is nearly nothing and nearly everything.

Now I want you all to go away.

I have lived so much that one day
you will have to forget me on purpose,
erasing me from the blackboard:
my interminable heart.

But just because I ask for silence
do not think that I am going to die:
for me it is just the opposite:
it so happens that I am going to live.

It so happens that I am and I continue.

It will not be, though, unless inside
of me there will grow cereals,
the grains that first break
the earth to see the light,
but mother earth is dark:
and inside me is dark:
I am like a well upon whose waters
the night leaves behind its stars
and continues alone in the countryside.

It is all about how much I have lived
that I want to live a bit more.

I have never felt so sonorous,
I have never had so many kisses.

Now, as always, it is early.
Light flies on by with its bees.

Leave me alone with the day.
I ask permission to be born.
Pablo Neruda

(Glen Snyder, trans)


About Glen Snyder

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