it's the centennial of Pablo Neruda (1904-1973),
the well-loved Nobel Prize-winning Chilean communist poet
who died of prostate cancer in 1973
shortly after a military coup.
this morning, i read his poem entitled Bird.
for me, his excellent poetry is "the whole gift of the day".
the second stanza, which is reproduced below,
seems like the poet wrote the piece
right after his final moment.
When I returned from so many journeys,
I stayed suspended and green
between sun and geography -
I saw how wings worked,
how perfumes are transmitted
by feathery telegraph,
and from above I saw the path,
the springs and the roof tiles,
the fishermen at their trades,
the trousers of the foam;
I saw it all from my green sky.
I had no more alphabet
than the swallows in their courses,
the tiny, shining water
of the small bird on fire
which dances out of the pollen.
You can access all of Neruda's poems from this site.