Tag Archives: Pablo Neruda

Put Some Fizz in your Valentine

This Sunday, I am kicking it up at the Woolloongabba Antiques Centre as part of the first Ruby Fizz gig for 2010, and with it being Valentines day and all and the brief being to read from the works of a dead poet, I couldn’t go past Pablo Neruda. I mean, Neruda knows his way around a love poem! I believe the gig this Sunday is sold out, but you can shoot Zenobia an email (see the poster for details) as there is a second gig planned. For those people who can’t make it, there’s a little slice of Neruda to light up your synapses below the poster…


I want you to know one thing

You know how this is:
if I look
at the crystal moon, at the red branch
of the slow autumn at my window,
if I touch
near the fire
the impalpable ash
or the wrinkled body of the log,
everything carries me to you,
as if everything that exists,
aromas, light, metals,
were little boats
that sail
toward those isles of yours that wait for me.

Well, now,
if little by little you stop loving me
I shall stop loving you little by little.

If suddenly
you forget me
do not look for me,
for I shall already have forgotten you.

If you think it long and mad,
the wind of banners
that passes through my life,
and you decide
to leave me at the shore
of the heart where I have roots,
that on that day,
at that hour,
I shall lift my arms
and my roots will set off
to seek another land.

if each day,
each hour,
you feel that you are destined for me
with implacable sweetness,
if each day a flower
climbs up to your lips to seek me,
ah my love, ah my own,
in me all that fire is repeated,
in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten,
my love feeds on your love, beloved,
and as long as you live it will be in your arms
without leaving mine.

Pablo Neruda

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Filed under events & opportunities

Neruda’s Seashells

Along with being a political activist and Nobel Prize winner, Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda was also an avid collector of seashells. His love for the exoskeletons of molluscs is something that I share deeply, so I was fascinated to discover this, particularly after recently penning the poem, Morning Song, enamoured by the ocean’s quiet music that (for me) shells are such an integral part of.

Neruda has been quoted as saying:

“The best thing I have collected in my life are my shells,” the poet once wrote. “They gave me the pleasure of their prodigious structure, the lunar purity of their mysterious porcelain.”

And for the first time ever, more than four hundred of Neruda’s estimated 9000 seashells (amassed over a period of two decades) are on display at the Instituto de Cervantes in Madrid. It is times like this I dream of teleportation…

So while I may not get to see the display, this news has made me pull out several of my Neruda collections and rediscover my love for his words… his ability to capture passion and pin it to a page…

I will leave you with one of my very favourites:


Don’t Go Far Off, Not Even For A Day 
                                                  by Pablo Neruda

Don’t go far off, not even for a day, because —
because — I don’t know how to say it: a day is long
and I will be waiting for you, as in an empty station
when the trains are parked off somewhere else, asleep.

Don’t leave me, even for an hour, because
then the little drops of anguish will all run together,
the smoke that roams looking for a home will drift
into me, choking my lost heart.

Oh, may your silhouette never dissolve on the beach;
may your eyelids never flutter into the empty distance.
Don’t leave me for a second, my dearest,

because in that moment you’ll have gone so far
I’ll wander mazily over all the earth, asking,
Will you come back? Will you leave me here, dying?


Filed under poetry & publishing

Time to unravel – British Sea Power, Neruda & Bachinsky

It’s been a long week, but now it’s Saturday and the sun is warming my back as I type… time to unravel. Here’s a few things to ease you in to your weekend. Enjoy it!


British Sea PowerMan of Aran

I love an ambitious project and when I read about this, I knew instantly that I had to check it out. British Sea Power have recorded a soundtrack to a 1934 documentary about Irish fishermen, Man of Aran. The music and visuals combine stillness and grandeur, capturing the raw, unforgiving nature of the sea. This is one of the finds of 2009!


Pablo NerudaTonight I Can Write The Saddest Lines

Andy Garcia sounds like Cohen here…  one of my favourite ever love poems.


Elizabeth BachinskyHome of Sudden Service

Elizabeth Bachinsky is one of the international artists programmed at QLD Poetry Festival 2009. Here’s the title poem from her brilliant collection, Home of Sudden Service. Can’t wait to hear this live!




Filed under discussions, who listens to the radio?

Random Questions – Why doesn’t Thursday talk itself into coming after Friday? (Pablo Neruda)

Poetry raises so many questions that poke and probe at the mind. This Lost Shark has been trawling through some of his favourite poems and decided to take some of these questions and throw them out to the big wide world to see how people would respond.

The first question he sent out to the universe is one of many posed by Pablo Neruda in his classic collection, Book of Questions:

Why doesn’t Thursday talk itself into coming after Friday?

 Here’s what people have sent in so far:


Thursday has the joy of anticipating Friday – and anticipation is always the best part of the journey.

Jan Turner-Jones

but of course it does!  i’ve never known a thursday that didn’t come after a friday.  some days after, sure…

Bruce Dorlova

Because it is better to anticipate than to arrive.

Philip Neilsen

In the deepening twilight of the order of things, Thursday waits, with sheathed blade and bloody imaginings.

G.I. Lewis

Why doesn’t Thursday talk itself into coming after Friday? (Pablo Neruda)

Because as many times as Thursday
tries on Saturday’s football socks for size,
swishes about in Saturday’s hat (just right for picnics),
Thursday is destined to be a bridesmaid
– a lady in waiting.
Never to be Friday,
the celebrated last day of the working week.
Never to stagger bleary eyed into the scratchy Saturday light.
Thursday is always
to be relegated to late night shopping in suburbia
and a few quick ones after work
–it can’t be a big one, there’s always work tomorrow.
Thursday can see Saturday from where it is,
but it lacks confidence,
it drowns in it’s own mediocrity.
Thursday scuffs its feet with its hands in its pockets,
it can see Saturday but it can never be Saturday
no matter how much talking it does.

Trudie Murrell

Because Thursday holds the promise of Friday.

Sally Browne

Because Friday is too commercialised, and sells so much stuff to us for the weekend, to ever allow itself to be reduced to a Thursday, because if this happened Friday believes Capitalism would not survive.

Paul Wildman

It is the beacon still blinking
on the horizon, knowing this
is not our only hope.
It is the wind in our sails that assures us
we’re still moving.
It is the dream, so much stronger
than the touch.

mr oCean

Surely because Thursday is pay day for pensioners?

Jason Darling

I love Neruda’s Book of questions. I find echoes of them in Cornelia Parker’s installations http://www.artseensoho.com/Art/DEITCH/parker98/parker1.html – Uncurling an unseen world. There is something sublime in melting the solids of concepts like days of the week in your imagination. I can’t remember who asked this first, but I love the question ‘Why do we remember our past but not our future?’ Questioning destabilises. In schools we are taught to answer questions not ask them. To ask these sorts of questions asks us to look at where symbols end and a non-human reality begins. We create systems with which to make meaning then forget they are our creations. Who decided to name the days of the week? Baudrillard said ‘illusion is the most egalitarian, most democratic principle there is, everyone is equal before illusion, whereas we are not equal in front of the world as ‘truth’ and ‘reality.’ Neruda’s questions mediate a way to this space, effect a partial recovery of what is ‘lost’ allowing the world it’s illusions back. So much we search to make meaning from is a non-physicality. Neruda poses questions as a gift back to our imaginations, juicy to think that the unpresentable can only really come forward as missing contents. Now that’s poetry ha!

Amanda Joy

It goes back to the Norse gods and the creation myths. To times when the world as we know it was being born, a time when the foundations of society were forming and truths of the psyche were becoming part of humanities archetypal psychological makeup that have since reached into the present with only superficial changes to the fundamental differences between the men and women who have sired the generations, the previous that bring our forefathers and nay our mothers too into the present day, bring us to an age old point of contention that began with Thor and Freya, the original namesakes of our modern day Thursday and Friday.

Thor: (breathless) I’m trying and trying not to…..

Freya: Oh please just talk yourself out of it, think of me as the witch living at the other end of Valhalla…

Thor: Oh no, it’s too late…

Freya: (Sigh)… Thor dammit, no matter how much you try and talk yourself out of it, it seems this woman will always come last.

Bremen Town Musician


I don’t know about Thursday but talking of ol Pablo put me in mind of that Simpsons episode where Bart sells his soul and then finds he can no longer laugh at Itchy & Scratchy..
Bart; “I know its funny so why aren’t I laughing..”
Lisa; “well, Pablo Neruda says that laughter is language of the soul”
Bart (with quiet dignity) “I am aware of the works of Pablo neruda.”
quote from Encyclopedia Simpsonica
The Reverend Hellfire

So what is your response to this question? Be sure to post it in the comments.


Filed under Random Questions