Fable of the Mermaid and the Drunks
All those men were there inside,
when she came in totally naked.
They had been drinking: they began to spit.
Newly come from the river, she knew nothing.
She was a mermaid who had lost her way.
The insults flowed down her gleaming flesh.
Obscenities drowned her golden breasts.
Not knowing tears, she did not weep tears.
Not knowing clothes, she did not have clothes.
They blackened her with burnt corks and cigarette stubs,
and rolled around laughing on the tavern floor.
She did not speak because she had no speech.
Her eyes were the colour of distant love,
her twin arms were made of white topaz.
Her lips moved, silent, in a coral light,
and suddenly she went out by that door.
Entering the river she was cleaned,
shining like a white stone in the rain,
and without looking back she swam again
swam towards emptiness, swam towards death.
Pablo Neruda's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (Fable of the Mermaid and the Drunks by Pablo Neruda )
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827)
(27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(7 May 1861 – 7 August 1941)
(9 November 1928 – 4 October 1974)
- Daffodils, William Wordsworth
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
- Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
- To an Athlete Dying Young, Alfred Edward Housman
- Invictus, William Ernest Henley
Poem of the Day
- Ruins الاطلال, MOHAMMAD SKATI
- Your eyes, Leong Ming Loong
- Studentship., Gangadharan nair Pulingat..
- Knowing the Truth, Nika McGuin
- I write, Nassy Fesharaki
- Assuredly بالتأكيد, MOHAMMAD SKATI
- We Become Our Choices, Joseph Narusiewicz
- Struck matches, Mark Heathcote
- Kent Sands Crustations, John Fitzgerald
- What I am, V P Mahur