TU RISAYOUR LAUGH
Pablo Nerudatrans. Brian Cole
Quítame el pan, si quieres, Take away my bread, if you will,
quítame el aire,take away the air, but
pero no me quites tu risa.do not take away your laugh.
No me quites la rosa, Do not take away the rose,
la lanza que desgranas, the spear which you unsheathe,
el agua que de pronto the water that all at once
estalla en tu alegría, bursts up in your joy,
la repentina ola the sudden wave of plants
de planta que te nace.that springs up at your feet.
Mi lucha es dura y vuelvo My struggle is hard and sometimes
con los ojos cansados I come home tired-eyed
a veces de haber visto from having gazed all day
la tierra que no cambia, at the unchanging earth,
pero al entrar tu risa sube but as soon as I come in, your laugh
al cielo buscándome rises to heaven, seeking me out,
y abre para mí todas and opens up for me
las puertas de la vida.all the doors of life.
Amor mío, en la hora My love, even in the hour
más oscura desgrana of deepest darkness unsheathe
tu risa, y si de pronto your laugh, and if suddenly
ves que mi sangre mancha you see my blood staining
las piedras de la calle, the stones in the street,
ríe, porque tu risa then laugh, because your laugh
será para mis manos will be for my hands
como una espada fresca.like a fresh gleaming sword.
Junto al mar en otoño, By the sea in autumn
tu risa debe alzar your laugh should spout up
su cascada de espuma, its shower of foam,
y en primavera, amor, and in spring, my love,
quiero tu risa como I need your laugh
la flor que yo esperaba, like the long-awaited flower,
la flor azul, la rosa the blue flower, the rose
de mi patria sonora.of my melodious homeland.
Ríete de la noche, Laugh at the night,
del día, de la luna, at the day, at the moon,
ríete de las calles laugh at the crookedness
torcidas de la isla, of streets on our island,
ríete de este torpe at this awkward
muchacho que te quiere, boy who loves you,
pero cuando yo abro but when I open
los ojos y los cierro, my eyes and close them,
cuando mis pasos van, when my footsteps pace on,
cuando vuelven mis pasos, and when my footsteps return,
niégame el pan, el aire, deny me bread, and air,
la luz, la primavera, deny me light, and spring,
pero tu risa nunca but never your laugh,
porque me moriría.for I should surely die.

Click here 2 for another translation of this poem.

Copyright © Pablo Neruda 1952 and Fundación Pablo Neruda, transl. Brian Cole © 1994 - publ. Anvil Press


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