Pablo Neruda

(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973 / Parral)

Ode To Broken Things

Poem by Pablo Neruda

Things get broken
at home
like they were pushed
by an invisible, deliberate smasher.
It's not my hands
or yours
It wasn't the girls
with their hard fingernails
or the motion of the planet.
It wasn't anything or anybody
It wasn't the wind
It wasn't the orange-colored noontime
Or night over the earth
It wasn't even the nose or the elbow
Or the hips getting bigger
or the ankle
or the air.
The plate broke, the lamp fell
All the flower pots tumbled over
one by one. That pot
which overflowed with scarlet
in the middle of October,
it got tired from all the violets
and another empty one
rolled round and round and round
all through winter
until it was only the powder
of a flowerpot,
a broken memory, shining dust.

And that clock
whose sound
the voice of our lives,
the secret
thread of our weeks,
which released
one by one, so many hours
for honey and silence
for so many births and jobs,
that clock also
and its delicate blue guts
among the broken glass
its wide heart

Life goes on grinding up
glass, wearing out clothes
making fragments
breaking down
and what lasts through time
is like an island on a ship in the sea,
surrounded by dangerous fragility
by merciless waters and threats.

Let's put all our treasures together
-- the clocks, plates, cups cracked by the cold --
into a sack and carry them
to the sea
and let our possessions sink
into one alarming breaker
that sounds like a river.
May whatever breaks
be reconstructed by the sea
with the long labor of its tides.
So many useless things
which nobody broke
but which got broken anyway

Form: Ode

Comments about Ode To Broken Things by Pablo Neruda

  • Captain Herbert PoetryCaptain Herbert Poetry (6/12/2015 7:01:00 PM)

    You are great poet. Thank you for sharing your writings(Report)Reply

    23 person liked.
    7 person did not like.
  • Alice Nelson (8/25/2014 1:33:00 AM)

    you are quite good pablo. you just need to practice and im sure youll get there! keep writing! ! ! ! is that a joke? i can't tell...(Report)Reply

    13 person liked.
    31 person did not like.
  • Brian JaniBrian Jani (4/27/2014 7:46:00 AM)

    Awesome I like this poem, check mine out (Report)Reply

    19 person liked.
    11 person did not like.
  • Julian Harget (10/6/2011 8:32:00 PM)

    pablo neruda has been dead for almost 30 years lady! ! !Already ReportedReply

    59 person liked.
    5 person did not like.
  • alice sunderland (3/22/2010 6:57:00 AM)

    you are quite good pablo. you just need to practice and im sure youll get there! keep writing! ! ! !(Report)Reply

    11 person liked.
    79 person did not like.
Read all 5 comments »

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Poem Submitted: Monday, March 22, 2010