POEMS WITH A VOICE, The Lion poem , (‘…Fixing its eye on the rain…’), by Pablo Neruda ( from the volume “Selected poems”)

The Lion poem by Pablo Neruda ( from the volume “Selected poems”)

A great lion came from the distances.
It was huge as silence is,
it was thirsty, it was after blood,
and behind its posturing
it had fire, as a house has,
it burned like a mountain of Osorno.

It found only solitude,
it roared, out of uncertainty and hunger –
the only thing to eat was air,
the wild foam of the coast,
frozen sea lettuces,
air the colour of birds,
unacceptable nourishment.

Wistful lion from another planet,
cast up by the high tide
on the rocky coast of Isla Negra,
the salty archipelago,
with nothing more than an empty maw,
claws that were idle
and a tail like a feather duster.

It was well aware of the foolishness
of its aggressive appearance
and with the passing of years
it wrinkled up in shame.
Its timidity led it on
to worse displays of arrogance
and it went on aging like one
of the lions in the Plaza,
it slowly turned into an ornament
for a portico or a garden,
to the point of hiding its sad forehead,
fixing its eyes on the rain
and keeping still to wait for
the grey justice of stone,
its geological hour.


****The Lion poem by Pablo Neruda ( from the volume “Selected poems”)

 

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