The word in blood, the word grew in the dark body…

By snurfson / Posted on 13 September 2010

It was born
in blood, the word
grew in the dark body, beating
and flew through the lips and the mouth.
Further, and nearer
still, still it came
from dead fathers, nomadic races,
from lands made of stone,
that were tired of their wretched tribes,
because when pain set out on the way
the villages walked and arrived
and new earth and water joined again
to sow their words anew.
And so this is the legacy:
this is the air which connects us
to the dead man and the dawn
of new beings not yet woken.
The atmosphere still trembles
with the first word
in panic and moans.
It rose
from the shadows
and even now no thunder
yet thunders with the clang
of that word
the first
word spoken:
perhaps it was only a sigh, a drop,
and yet its cascade falls and falls.
Then sense fills the word.
The word was made pregnant and filled with lives.
It was all births and cries:
affirmation, clarity, force,
negation, destruction, death:
the verb assumed all those powers
and merged existence and essence
in the electricity of her beauty.
Word, human, syllabic, pelvis
of wide light and solid silver,
hereditary cup that receives
the communication of blood:
here is where silence was fused
in the total human word
and not to speak is to be dying among beings:
language springs from the roots of the hair,
the mouth talks without the lips moving:
the eyes of a sudden are words.
I take the word and traverse it
as if it were solely human form,
its lineaments delight me and I fly
through each resonance of language:
I pronounce and I am and I reach without speech
the silence at the end of words.
I drink to the word, lifting
a word or a glass of crystal,
in it I drink
the wine of language
or the interminable waters
maternal fount of words,
and glass and water and wine
originate my song
because the verb is the origin
and the living channel: it is blood
the blood that speaks its substance
and so is ready to flow:
giving crystal to crystal, blood to blood
and giving life to life, the words.

-Pablo Neruda







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