A certain weariness [Cierto cansancio]- Pablo Neruda

A certain weariness

I don’t want to be tired alone,
I want you to grow tired along with me.

How can we not be weary
of the kind of fine ash
which falls on cities in autumn,
something which doesn’t quite burn,
which collects in jackets
and little by little settles,
discolouring the heart.

I’m tired of the harsh sea
and the mysterious earth.
I’m tired of chickens-
we never know what they think,
and they look at us with dry eyes
as though we were unimportant.

Let us for once-I invite you-
be tired of so many things,
of awful aperitifs,
of a good education.

Tired of not going to France,
tired of at least
one or two days in the week
which have always the same names
like dishes on the table,
and of getting up-what for?-
and going to bed without glory.

Let us finally tell the truth:
we never thought much of
these days that are like
houseflies or camels.

I have seen some monuments
raised to titans,
to donkeys of industry.
They’re there, motionless,
with their swords in their hands
on their gloomy horses.
I’m tired of statues.
Enough of all that stone.

If we go on filling up
the world with still things,
how can the living live?

I am tired of remembering.

I want men, when they’re born,
to breath in naked flowers,
fresh soil, pure fire,
not just what everyone breaths.
Leave the newborn in peace!

Leave room for them to live!
Don’t think for them,
don’t read them the same book;
let them discover the dawn
and name their own kisses.

I want you to be weary with me
of all that is already well done,
of all that ages us.

Of all that lies in wait
to wear out other people.

Let us be weary of what kills
and of what doesn’t want to die.

——translated from Spanish by Alastair Reid [ A bilingual Edition]
from
Extravagaria [Estravagario] -Pablo Neruda