Awakening of the widower




Photographic: Woman with a thought. DWV

“Puedo escribir los versos más tristes esta noche.”- Pablo Neruda

“Tonight I can write the saddest lines”

Awakening of the widower

“Neruda often saw himself within his earlier poems as the ‘viudo’ [widower], the veuf, abandoned by his lover, by love itself. Much of his early poetry projected the image of a Hamlet, a poet dressed in black, doomed and cursed by melancholia, a state of creative depression and despair (Nerval knew Dürer’s print ‘Melencolia’ well). That was his debt to Nerval, surely the epitome of the Romantic poet.”

from “A Companion to Pablo Neruda: Evaluating Neruda’s Poetry (Monografías A)”


Awakening of the widower

On a Sunday evening

the widower

took his thoughts on a promenade.


He closed the door

of his apartment,

went down the stairs

and walked along the pavement

past the closed shops,

accompanied by his thoughts.


They came to a fashion shop

and one of his thoughts

was fascinated by a dress

worn by a bored mannequin

who stared unseeingly out at the street.


They walked on, past more closed doors,

and stopped at a bookshop.

They could see books

through the window,

but the interior wasn’t well lit.

One of his thoughts

pointed out a book with the title:

The Marriage that Created the World.


The book, like the others,

was rather dusty.

An insect with uncertain ancestry

lay dead in front of the book,

its antennae dramatically outstretched

in a seeming appeal to somebody or something.


They continued on their promenade,

and came to an open verandah

where people were enjoying drinks

and eating fancy sandwiches parading as food.


He sat down and ordered an Americano.

Nothing for his thoughts.

They wandered around,

looking at people, trying to look inconspicuous.


The three-quarter profile of a woman

at another table caught his attention.

It fit in pleasantly with the shape of his psyche.


He finished his Americano,

called his thoughts together with the tightening of his mouth,

and told them:

mourning is over.

It is now light enough to look a woman in the eye

and to court the ravishing bite

of her love.

About kruger01

Poet, author, translator Grandfather of five. Bonsai grower.
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