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A-level & IB English - Pablo Neruda: XVII. Thinking, Tangling Shadows

A guide to resources on Pablo Neruda for your A-level or IB English topic - compiled by your librarians

Love Poem # 17: Thinking, Tangling Shadows

Thinking, Tangling Shadows


Thinking, tangling shadows in the deep solitude.
You are far away too, oh farther than anyone.
Thinking, freeing birds, dissolving images,
burying lamps.

Belfry of fogs, how far away, up there!
Stifling laments, milling shadowy hopes,
taciturn miller,
night falls on you face downward, far from the city.

Your presence is foreign, as strange to me as a thing.
I think, I explore great tracts of my life before you.
My life before anyone, my harsh life.
The shout facing the sea, among the rocks,
running free, mad, in the sea-spray.
The sad rage, the shout, the solitude of the sea.
Headlong, violent, stretched towards the sky.

You, woman, what were you there, what ray, what vane
of that immense fan? You were as far as you are now.
Fire in the forest! Burn in blue crosses.
Burn, burn, flame up, sparkle in trees of light.

It collapses, crackling. Fire. Fire.
And my soul dances, seared with curls of fire.
Who calls? What silence peopled with echoes?

Hour of nostalgia, hour of happiness, hour of solitude.
hour that is mine from among them all!
Hunting horn through which the wind passes singing.
Such a passion of weeping tied to my body.

Shaking of all the roots,
attack of all the waves!
My soul wandered, happy, sad, unending.

Thinking, burying lamps in the deep solitude.

Who are you, who are you?


- Pablo Neruda








Spanish Version

Pensado, Enredando Sombras

Pensando, enredando sombras en la profunda soledad.
Tú también estás lejos, ah más lejos que nadie.
Pensando, soltando pájaros, desvaneciendo imágenes,
enterrando lámparas.

Campanario de brumas, qué lejos, allá arriba!
Ahogando lamentos, moliendo esperanzas sombrías,
molinero taciturno,
se te viene de bruces la noche, lejos de la ciudad.

Tu presencia es ajena, extraña a mí como una cosa.
Pienso, camino largamente, mi vida antes de ti.
Mi vida antes de nadie, mi áspera vida.
El grito frente al mar, entre las piedras,
corriendo libre, loco, en el vaho del mar.
Desbocado, violento, estirado hacia el cielo.

Tú mujer, qué eras allí, qué rayo, qué varilla
de ese abanico inmenso? Estabas lejos como ahora.
Incendio en el bosque! Arde en cruces azules.
Arde, arde, llamea, chispea en árboles de luz.

Se derrumba, crepita. Incendio. Incendio.
Y mi alma baila herida de virutas de fuego.
Quién llama? Qué silencio poblado de ecos?

Hora de la nostalgia, hora de la alegría, hora de la soledad,
hora mía entre todas!
Bocina en que el viento pasa cantando.
Tanta pasión de llanto anudada a mi cuerpo.

Sacudida de todas las raíces,
asalto de todas las olas!
Rodaba, alegre, triste, interminable, mi alma.

Pensando, enterrando lámparas en la profunda soledad.

Quién eres tú, quién eres?

- Pablo Neruda