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For Pablo Neruda (Elegy) - Poem by Doren Robbins

Lean men,
broad shouldered men,
I see them in the newspaper
with their perfectly styled hair
and their sagging inquisitive eyes
and the gold bars on the epaulets of their uniforms
that shine even there is no light—
they took you down, Neruda,
it didn’t matter to them
that you emerged from the
birthplace of shadows—
it didn’t matter to them
that you imitated the moon with words
for a woman, or that you screamed at the blood
on the factories
of the poor—
they simply wanted you dead—
you were weak,
you were old,
you saw it coming,
it was the same state police siren you heard
when they wanted you dead before—
I read how they withheld your medicine
when you were already dying,
how they confiscated your piece of land,
how they decorated the flowery bedrooms of militarymen
with your exotic collection of shells,
how they burned all your books that were related
to the vegetation you were about to become.
I re-read your Nobel speech tonight, Neruda—
you said you always put your trust in man,
you said you never lost hope,
you said you believed in the prophecy of Rimbaud,
how “in the dawn, armed with a burning patience, we
shall enter the splendid cities”—and now
the corporatemen, and the police informers,
and the military have covered the splendid city again
with their piss and spit and bullets.

It doesn’t matter to them.
All the fires are out of you
now, Neruda. There is no Phoenix—only
in your poems,
there is no splendid city—only
in words we are too rotten to believe.

4 a.m.
The lamp in the patio
burns all night
like a wing
on a dead body
that won’t stop flying.

Comments about For Pablo Neruda (Elegy) by Doren Robbins

  • Rookie - 14 Points Sue Ann Simar (8/30/2009 5:11:00 AM)

    That last image really brings the poem home. (Report) Reply

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    1 person did not like.
  • Rookie Mel Vincent Basconcillo (4/27/2009 4:01:00 AM)

    magnificent tribute! ! u amazing! (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Rookie Rich Hanson (12/13/2004 6:11:00 AM)

    Baeutiful. I'd be proud to write 1 poem like this (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
Read all 5 comments »

Poems About Elegy

  1. 51. For Pablo Neruda (Elegy) , Doren Robbins
  2. 52. Elegy To The Old Man Hokuju , Yosa Buson
  3. 53. Elegy In A Botanic Gardens , Kenneth Slessor
  4. 54. Elegy Xx (Alternate) Love's War , John Donne
  5. 55. An Elegy On Parting , James Thomson
  6. 56. Elegy On The Death Of A Young Man , Friedrich Schiller
  7. 57. Elegy Xiv: Julia , John Donne
  8. 58. An Elegy , Subbaraman N V
  9. 59. Elegy:The End Of Funeral Elegies , John Donne
  10. 60. Elegy , David Herbert Lawrence
  11. 61. Elegy For Jane Kenyon (2) , Jean Valentine
  12. 62. Elegy On Partridge , Jonathan Swift
  13. 63. Elegy To The Memory Of Richard Boyle, Esq. , Mary Darby Robinson
  14. 64. Elegy Xi: The Bracelet , John Donne
  15. 65. Elegy , Charlotte Smith
  16. 66. Elegy Xii , John Donne
  17. 67. Elegy For An Enemy , Stephen Vincent Benet
  18. 68. Love Elegy, To Laura , Amelia Opie
  19. 69. Elegy To The Memory Of Werter , Mary Darby Robinson
  20. 70. Poor Mailie's Elegy , Robert Burns
  21. 71. Elegy, Imitated From One Of Akenside's B.. , Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  22. 72. On The Death Of Amyntas. A Pastoral Elegy , John Dryden
  23. 73. An Elegy , Ben Jonson
  24. 74. Fragment Of The Elegy On The Death Of Bion , Percy Bysshe Shelley
  25. 75. Elegy On Newstead Abbey , George Gordon Byron
  26. 76. (((A Summer Elegy))) , Theodora (Theo) Onken
  27. 77. Love Elegy, To Henry , Amelia Opie
  28. 78. Elegy On The Death Of Lady Middleton , Mary Darby Robinson
  29. 79. An Elegy Upon The Most Victorious King O.. , Henry King
  30. 80. Elegy For My Soul , Vignesh Ravishankar Shanmugam
  31. 81. Elegy Written At Hotwells, Bristol , William Lisle Bowles
  32. 82. Elegy Vii. Anno Aetates Undevigesimo (Tr.. , William Cowper
  33. 83. Elegy To The Memory Of David Garrick, Esq. , Mary Darby Robinson
  34. 84. An Elegy, To An Old Beauty , Thomas Parnell
  35. 85. An Elegy Upon S. W. R. , Henry King
  36. 86. Elegy On The Death Of A Child , James Hogg
  37. 87. Elegy I. To Charles Deodati (Translated .. , William Cowper
  38. 88. Elegy , Aleister Crowley
  39. 89. Elegy (Tir'D With The Busy Crouds) , James Beattie
  40. 90. Elegy On The Death Of Mr. Phillips , Thomas Chatterton
  41. 91. An Elegy Upon Mrs. Kirk Unfortunately Dr.. , Henry King
  42. 92. Elegy Ii. On Posthumous Reputation - To .. , William Shenstone
  43. 93. Elegy , Leo Yankevich
  44. 94. Athe Anniverse. An Elegy. , Henry King
  45. 95. Elegy In Joy , Muriel Rukeyser
  46. 96. An Elegy Upon The Immature Loss Of The M.. , Henry King
  47. 97. Elegy I. He Arrives At His Retirement In.. , William Shenstone
  48. 98. An Elegy Upon The L. Bishop Of London Jo.. , Henry King
  49. 99. An Elegy Upon The Death Of Mr. Edward Holt , Henry King
  50. 100. An Elegy Upon The Most Incomparable K. C.. , Henry King
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