Pablo Neruda

(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973 / Parral)

Algunas Bestias - Poem by Pablo Neruda

Era el crepúsculo de la iguana.
Desde la arcoirisada crestería
su leengua como un dardo
se hundía en la verdura,
el hormiguero monacal pisaba
con melodioso pie la selva,
el guanaco fino como el oxigeno
en las anchas alturas pardas
iba calzando botas de oro,
mientras la llama abria cándidos
ojos en la delicadeza
del mundo lleno de rocio.
Los monos trenzaban un hilo
interminablemente erótico
en las riberas de la aurora,
derribando muros de polen
y espantando el vuelo violeta
de las mariposas de Muzo
Era la noche de los caimanes,
la noche pura y pululante
de hocicos saliendo del légamo,
y de las ciénagas soñolientas
un ruido opaco de armaduras
volvía al origen terrestre.
El jaguar tocaba las hojas
con su ausencia fosforescente,
el puma corre en el ramaje
como el fuego devorador
mientras arden en él los ojos
alcohólicos de la selva.
Los tejones rascan los pies
del río, husmean el nido
cuya delicia palpitante
atacarán con dientes rojos.
Y en el fondo del agua magna,
como el círulo de la tierra,
está la gigante anaconda
cubierta de barros rituales,
devoradora y religiosa.

Comments about Algunas Bestias by Pablo Neruda

  • (6/1/2018 11:19:00 AM)

    I recommend reading along with this Mikis Theodorakis score (Canto General Algunas Bestias)
    https: // v=Njy8ZjYb014

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  • Fabrizio Frosini (11/24/2015 5:06:00 AM)

    this poem is in 'A Lamp on Earth', first part of ''Canto General''
    ''A Lamp on Earth'' is something of a contemporary 'Popol Vuh', the sequence of ancient Mayan creation myths. Neruda’s work may be more accurately dubbed a re-creation myth. As in the Mayan vision, each separate element of the natural world is treated to its own individual tale of creation. The creation of the world is described as a series of smaller creations —landscape, vegetation, animals, minerals, people— all of which finally exist together as though by way of some godly experiment. The destruction of Mayan culture by the Spanish is detailed in the third section, which concentrates on a selection of names and places. Before moving into that cataclysmic period, however, Neruda inserted in 'Canto General' one of the most highly regarded works of his career, 'The Heights of Macchu Picchu'.

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  • Fabrizio Frosini (11/24/2015 3:56:00 AM)

    This poem is part of ''CANTO GENERAL'':

    One of the works that had brought recognition to Neruda was ''Canto general'' (general song) , which appeared almost exactly at the midpoint of his career. His poetic career spanned about five decades. Canto general is a work of immense scope and poetic ambition, and one that has been accomplished by few poets of any time or place.

    The collection is divided into fifteen sections, each containing from a dozen to more than forty individual poems. The sheer immensity of the work may be intimidating to the uninitiated, but it is a fine place for readers new to Neruda to become acquainted with his work. It provides a compendium of the poet’s wide range of interests and gathers in one volume the forms he regularly explored during periods throughout his career. Neruda’s passionate interests in history, politics, and nature, and his stunning ability to show the sublime within the mundane are all present in Canto general in full working order.

    Neruda’s emotional and spiritual history and his evolution as a poetic thinker become entwined with the natural history and political evolution of the southern half of the American continent. “A Lamp on Earth, ” the opening section, begins with “Amor America (1400) .” This poem, as do most in this section, operates much in the manner of Neruda’s numerous odes. The book’s first poem conjures the beauty and relative peace of America prior to the arrival of the conquistadores. The succeeding poems of the opening section sing respectively to “Vegetation, ” “Some Beasts, ” “The Birds Arrive, ” “The Rivers Come Forth, ” “Minerals, ” and, finally, “Man.”

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  • Fabrizio Frosini (11/24/2015 3:51:00 AM)


    It was the twilight of the iguana:

    From a rainbowing battlement,
    a tongue like a javelin
    lunging in verdure;
    an ant heap treading the jungle,
    monastic, on musical feet;
    the guanaco, oxygen-fine
    in the high places swarthed with distances,
    cobbling his feet into gold;
    the llama of scrupulous eye
    the widens his gaze on the dews
    of a delicate world.

    A monkey is weaving
    a thread of insatiable lusts
    on the margins of morning:
    he topples a pollen-fall,
    startles the violet-flght
    of the butterfly, wings on the Muzo.

    It was the night of the alligator:
    snouts moving out of the slime,
    in original darkness, the pullulations,
    a clatter of armour, opaque
    in the sleep of the bog,
    turning back to the chalk of the sources.

    The jaguar touches the leaves
    with his phosphorous absence,
    the puma speeds to his covert
    in the blaze of his hungers,
    his eyeballs, a jungle of alcohol,
    burn in his head.

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  • Fabrizio Frosini (11/24/2015 3:49:00 AM)

    ''Some Beasts'' was published in 1950 as part of ''Canto General''
    Neruda uses a variety of animals in the poem to paint a picture of paradise that is at once idyllic and dangerous. At first, the creatures are presented as harmonious: “The monastic ant-heap was melodiously / teeming in the undergrowth, ” while “the llama opened candid / wide eyes in the delicacy / of a world filled with dew.” Later, though, the tone turns ominous, revealing the brutality of the jungle: “The badgers scratch the river’s / feet, scenting out the nest... they’ll assail red-toothed.”
    The Appearance of Man
    A little more than half way through “Some Beasts, ” man makes his first and only appearance. The scene begins with the “night of alligators.” Then, “from over the sleep-drenched bogs, ” the reader is informed that “a dull sound of armor / fell back upon the original earth.” Both European conquistadors and pre-Columbian civilizations in the New World used armor, but the fact that armor makes a sound in the poem implies conflict: the very conflict that would consume the continent and create the Americas.
    The Mystery of Nature
    Although “Some Beasts” toggles back and forth between the idyllic and the violent, it elicits a sense of mystery that lies beyond human reach. This mystery is first embodied by the puma, which “runs on the foliage / like all-consuming flame.” The last stanza of the poem presents the anaconda, “like the circle of the earth / covered in ritual mud / devouring and religious.” Neruda’s uses of fire, mud and “the circle of the earth” suggest that whatever human culture accomplishes in the short term, the mysterious, shifting forms of nature ultimately rule.
    [Scott Neuffer]

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  • Flos Corpus (9/28/2015 7:25:00 AM)

    Sublime! (Report)Reply

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  • Captain Herbert Poetry (4/27/2014 1:11:00 PM)

    Pablo Nerida is Brilliant Poet (Report)Reply

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  • Alexander Opicho (12/2/2013 4:20:00 AM)

    am not lucky i dont knwo spanish, i only knw english, deutsch, kiswahili, and Lubukusu; how i wish i knew epagnola (Report)Reply

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Poem Submitted: Monday, March 29, 2010

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