Death Poems - Poems For Death - Nothing But Death

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Nothing But Death - Poem by Pablo Neruda

There are cemeteries that are lonely,
graves full of bones that do not make a sound,
the heart moving through a tunnel,
in it darkness, darkness, darkness,
like a shipwreck we die going into ourselves,
as though we were drowning inside our hearts,
as though we lived falling out of the skin into the soul.

And there are corpses,
feet made of cold and sticky clay,
death is inside the bones,
like a barking where there are no dogs,
coming out from bells somewhere, from graves somewhere,
growing in the damp air like tears of rain.

Sometimes I see alone
coffins under sail,
embarking with the pale dead, with women that have dead hair,
with bakers who are as white as angels,
and pensive young girls married to notary publics,
caskets sailing up the vertical river of the dead,
the river of dark purple,
moving upstream with sails filled out by the sound of death,
filled by the sound of death which is silence.

Death arrives among all that sound
like a shoe with no foot in it, like a suit with no man in it,
comes and knocks, using a ring with no stone in it, with no
finger in it,
comes and shouts with no mouth, with no tongue, with no
throat.
Nevertheless its steps can be heard
and its clothing makes a hushed sound, like a tree.

I'm not sure, I understand only a little, I can hardly see,
but it seems to me that its singing has the color of damp violets,
of violets that are at home in the earth,
because the face of death is green,
and the look death gives is green,
with the penetrating dampness of a violet leaf
and the somber color of embittered winter.

But death also goes through the world dressed as a broom,
lapping the floor, looking for dead bodies,
death is inside the broom,
the broom is the tongue of death looking for corpses,
it is the needle of death looking for thread.

Death is inside the folding cots:
it spends its life sleeping on the slow mattresses,
in the black blankets, and suddenly breathes out:
it blows out a mournful sound that swells the sheets,
and the beds go sailing toward a port
where death is waiting, dressed like an admiral.


Translated by Robert Bly


Comments about Nothing But Death by Pablo Neruda

  • Rookie - 133 Points Amergin Oak (6/7/2016 12:33:00 AM)

    Very original and well written..Thank you for sharing this poem (Report) Reply

    2 person liked.
    4 person did not like.
  • Freshman - 573 Points Teenage Mawuto (4/28/2016 8:30:00 AM)

    one of the best poems in the world, viva Neruda! (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 9,580 Points Amar Agarwala (11/21/2015 8:16:00 PM)

    Pablo Neruda, is amongst the greatest poets of Spain. His work is marvelous. (Report) Reply

    Gold Star - 9,580 Points Amar Agarwala (6/29/2016 7:49:00 PM)

    Thanks for correction me, Paula.

    Rookie - 0 Points Paula Barrionuevo (6/29/2016 6:01:00 PM)

    He is not from Spain, he is actually from Chile.

Read all 11 comments »

Poems About Death

  1. 1. Let Me Die A Youngman's Death , Roger McGough
  2. 2. And Death Shall Have No Dominion , Dylan Thomas
  3. 3. Death Be Not Proud , John Donne
  4. 4. Death Is Nothing At All , Henry Scott Holland
  5. 5. Because I Could Not Stop For Death , Emily Dickinson
  6. 6. A Refusal To Mourn The Death, By Fire, O.. , Dylan Thomas
  7. 7. Nothing But Death , Pablo Neruda
  8. 8. Father Death Blues , Allen Ginsberg
  9. 9. A Dream Of Death , William Butler Yeats
  10. 10. A Poet's Death Is His Life Iv , Khalil Gibran
  11. 11. A Death Blow Is A Life Blow To Some , Emily Dickinson
  12. 12. An Irish Airman Forsees His Death , William Butler Yeats
  13. 13. The Death Of The Ball Turret Gunner , Randall Jarrell
  14. 14. Death Wants More Death , Charles Bukowski
  15. 15. Death Xxvii , Khalil Gibran
  16. 16. The Beauty Of Death Xiv , Khalil Gibran
  17. 17. After Death , Sara Teasdale
  18. 18. Death Leaves Us Homesick, Who Behind , Emily Dickinson
  19. 19. A City's Death By Fire , Derek Walcott
  20. 20. A Funeral Poem On The Death Of C. E. An .. , Phillis Wheatley
  21. 21. Death , Rainer Maria Rilke
  22. 22. A Ballad Of Death , Algernon Charles Swinburne
  23. 23. First Death In Nova Scotia , Elizabeth Bishop
  24. 24. On The Death Of A Young Lady Of Five Yea.. , Phillis Wheatley
  25. 25. The Death Of Joy Gardner , Benjamin Zephaniah
  26. 26. A Thought For A Lonely Death-Bed , Elizabeth Barrett Browning
  27. 27. Death &Amp; Fame , Allen Ginsberg
  28. 28. I Have A Rendezvous With Death , Alan Seeger
  29. 29. Go Down, Death , James Weldon Johnson
  30. 30. On The Death Of That Most Excellent Lady, , Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz
  31. 31. Gacela Of The Dark Death , Federico García Lorca
  32. 32. On Death , Anne Killigrew
  33. 33. On The Death Of Anne Brontë , Charlotte Brontë
  34. 34. For The Anniversary Of My Death , William Stanley Merwin
  35. 35. If Death Is Kind , Sara Teasdale
  36. 36. The Death Of The Hired Man , Robert Frost
  37. 37. Death Fugue , Paul Celan
  38. 38. Love &Amp; Fame &Amp; Death , Charles Bukowski
  39. 39. Death , Heinrich Heine
  40. 40. As At Thy Portals Also Death , Walt Whitman
  41. 41. All But Death, Can Be Adjusted , Emily Dickinson
  42. 42. On Hearing Of A Death , Rainer Maria Rilke
  43. 43. Death , William Butler Yeats
  44. 44. A Death-Bed , Rudyard Kipling
  45. 45. Fugue Of Death , Paul Celan
  46. 46. Death And His Brother Sleep (‘morphine’) , Heinrich Heine
  47. 47. Holy Sonnet X: Death Be Not Proud , John Donne
  48. 48. Death Of A Cockroach , Robert William Service
  49. 49. Hymns To The Night : 6 : Longing For Death , Novalis
  50. 50. The Death Of The Flowers , William Cullen Bryant
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