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(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973 / Parral / Chile)

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Fleas interest me so much

Fleas interest me so much
that I let them bite me for hours.
They are perfect, ancient, Sanskrit,
machines that admit of no appeal.
They do not bite to eat,
they bite only to jump;
they are the dancers of the celestial sphere,
delicate acrobats
in the softest and most profound circus;
let them gallop on my skin,
divulge their emotions,
amuse themselves with my blood,
but someone should introduce them to me.
I want to know them closely,
I want to know what to rely on.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003


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Comments about this poem (Canto XII from The Heights of Macchu Picchu by Pablo Neruda )

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  • Wilderness Enow (10/8/2006 6:06:00 AM)

    enigmatic yet allegorical, will be my first impression on this piece of literary work.
    who are these fleas?
    is it the simplistic and basic masses, the ground level of society that he refers to?
    or the perpetually uncomplicated human nature does he refer to?
    the fleas devour on the ethereal playground on the poetic body; never aware of the divine solace with which the sullen eyes the poet hopes for them; inflicted pain or decadent wound on his flesh is given away with taciturn pleasure. Like a ghost from the tomb he vistis them in their most intimate hours of passionate graze; exquisite languid love emanates from this aparition; loving and caring and yet ever unknown.
    and then a sudden strike....is he the mother earth?
    or is it not true that al forms of society and civic life forms and every delienation of human nature is the sublime portrayal of earth or nature?
    She, mother of all, is the truest proletariat.....the keystone of this cavernous universe we inhabit.

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