Monday, October 15, 2007

Amores: Josie Bliss (I)

Neruda told the story of Josie Bliss in his memoirs, Isla Negra, then he composed a book of poems inspired by his memorias.

Loves: Josie Bliss (I)

What became of the furious one?
It was war
the gilded city
that drowned her, so that neither
her written threats
nor her electric blasphemies could get out
to find me again, to persecute me
as they did so many days, in that faraway place,
so many hours
that time and oblivion
took care of, one by one,
until, at last, she can be named as death,
death, bad word, black earth
in which Josie Bliss
will rest in her rage.

She would add up
my absent years
wrinkle by wrinkle, as they probably gathered
on her face from the grief I gave her;
because she was waiting for me on the other side of the world.
I never came, but in the empty
in the dead dining room,
maybe my silence wasted away,
my faraway footsteps,
and maybe until death she saw me
as if through water,
as if I were swimming in glass,
slow of movement,
and she couldn't take hold of me
and would lose me
every day, in the pale lagoon
on which her gaze was fixed.
Until she finally closed her eyes -
when was that?
Until time and death covered her over -
when was that?
Until hate and love bore her away -
Until she who loved me in rage,
in blood, in revenge,
in jasmines,
couldn't go on talking to herself,
gazing at the lagoon of my absence.

Now, maybe,
she rests restlessly
in the great cemetery in Rangoon,
or maybe on the banks
of the Irrawaddy they burned her body
all afternoon, while
the river murmured
things that I might have said to her in tears.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Dan,
    Thanks for posting this! I was in Yangon few months ago and saw the house where Neruda lived and got interested in reading about his life in Burma and her affair with Josie.
    Do you know a link to a website with the original Spanish version of this poem "Amores: Josie Bliss"?
    I know I can look up the book Memoirs but i just wanted to read it online - instant gratification...:-).
    thanks again,