The Bees (I) – Pablo Neruda

One of my favorite poets – the late Pablo Neruda from Chile. He had received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971, two years before he passed away.

What was I to do, I, born
when the gods were dead,
and my insufferable youth
spent searching between cracks?
It was my role, and because of it
I felt so desolate.

One bee plus one bee
does not make two bees of light
or two bees of darkness:
it makes a solar system,
a house of topaz,
a dangerous caress.

The first concern of amber
is two golden bees
and tied to those same bees
each day’s sun travels:
I rage at revealing so many
of my ridiculous secrets.

They go on chasing me questioning
my relationship with cats,
how I found the rainbow’s arc,
why the worthy chestnuts
show themselves as hedgehogs,
and above all for me to say
what the toads think of me,
the creatures hidden
beneath the wood’s fragrance
or in the bubbles of concrete.
The truth is that among the knowers
I owned to a unique ignorance
and among those who might know less
I was always a little less knowing
and so little was my knowledge
that I learned wisdom.

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