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God of Hope

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Thoughts on Butterflies

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Oh río
de las cosas,
no se dirá
que sólo
los peces,
o las plantas de selva y de pradera,
que no sólo
lo que salta, sube, sobrevive, suspira.
No es verdad:
muchas cosas
me lo dijeron todo.
No sólo me tocaron
o las tocó mi mano,
sino que acompañaron
de tal modo
mi existencia
que conmigo existentes
que vivieron conmigo media vida
y morirán conmigo media muerte.

Pablo Neruda
Odas a las Cosas /
Odes to Common Things

(O irrevocable
of things,
no one will say
that I loved
the fish,
or the plants of the rainforest and the field,
that I only
that which leaps, rises, survives, sighs.
It’s not true:
many things
tell me it all.
Not only did they touch me,
or my hand touch them,
but they accompanied
my existence
in such a way
that they lived with me
and they were, for me, so alive
that they lived with me half my life
and they will die with me half my death.)

trans. Jane Beal

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by Jane Beal

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