An Artist’s Moment: Episode Two

Sharing beautiful works of art (including, but not limited to: paintings, stories, poems, and music) is so important to keep our communities educated and cultured. Here is a poem by one of my favorite poets, Pablo Neruda. This poem is a reflection on our knowledge.

Silvia Cavalieri, Student Contributor

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Flies Enter A Closed Mouth

Pablo Neruda

Why, with these red fires, are the rubies ready to burst into flame?

Why is the heart of the topaz yellow with honeycombs?

Why is it the rose’s vagary to change the color of its dreams?

Why did the emerald freeze like a drowned submarine?

And why does the sky pale in the starlight of June?

Where does the lizard buy fresh paint for its tail?

Where is the subterranean fire that revives the carnations?

Where does the salt get that look of transparency?

Where did the coal sleep before it woke to its darkness?

And where, where does the tiger buy the stripes of its mourning, its marking of gold?

When did the honeysuckle first sense its own perfume?

When did the pine take account of its fragrant conclusion?

When did the lemons learn the same creed as the sun?

When did smoke learn how to fly?

When do roots talk with each other?

How do stars get their water? Why is the scorpion venomous and the elephant benign?

What are the tortoise’s thoughts? To which point do the shadows withdraw? What is the song of the rain’s repetitions? Where do birds go to die? And why are leaves green?

What we know comes to so little, what we presume is so much, what we learn, so laborious, we can only ask questions and die. Better save all out pride for the city of the dead and the day of the carrion: there, when the wind shifts through the hollows of your skull it will show you all manner of enigmatical things, whispering truths in the void where your ears used to be.

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An Artist’s Moment: Episode Two