NaPoWriMo: Day 26 Erasing Neruda


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Pablo Neruda is one of my favourite poets. So I decided today, to do an erasure poem. I take an already written poem, erase various words, keeping the remaining ones in the order in which they originally appear, and voila!

It is an unusual form of homage, to take a poet’s work and then cut most of the words out. Yet, oddly, it can give a new appreciation to the work, requiring you to read it more carefully than perhaps you have before. I took Neruda’s “Your Laughter”, here reproduced in full

Take bread away from me, if you wish,
take air away, but
do not take from me your laughter.

Do not take away the rose,
the lance flower that you pluck,
the water that suddenly
bursts forth in joy,
the sudden wave
of silver born in you.

My struggle is harsh and I come back
with eyes tired
at times from having seen
the unchanging earth,
but when your laughter enters
it rises to the sky seeking me
and it opens for me all
the doors of life.

My love, in the darkest
hour your laughter
opens, and if suddenly
you see my blood staining
the stones of the street,
laugh, because your laughter
will be for my hands
like a fresh sword.

Next to the sea in the autumn,
your laughter must raise
its foamy cascade,
and in the spring, love,
I want your laughter like
the flower I was waiting for,
the blue flower, the rose
of my echoing country.

Laugh at the night,
at the day, at the moon,
laugh at the twisted
streets of the island,
laugh at this clumsy
boy who loves you,
but when I open
my eyes and close them,
when my steps go,
when my steps return,
deny me bread, air,
light, spring,
but never your laughter
for I would die.

Pablo Neruda

And then I cut words out to arrive at this piece of work.

Take me, if you wish,
take me

take away,
the flower,
the water ,
the  wave
you.

I come
with eyes having seen
your laughter

 it opens doors

love,
opens suddenly
blood
will be
a fresh sword.

Next I want, the rose

at night,
 moon streets open
and close
return me spring,
but never die. 

 

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3 thoughts on “NaPoWriMo: Day 26 Erasing Neruda

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