Monday, June 13, 2005

Pablo Neruda - Die Slowly

He who becomes the slave of habit,
who follows the same routes every day,
who never changes pace,
who does not risk and change the color of his clothes,
who does not speak and does not experience,
dies slowly.

He or she who shuns passion,
who prefers black on white,
dotting ones "it’s" rather than a bundle of emotions, the kind that make your eyes glimmer,
that turn a yawn into a smile,
that make the heart pound in the face of mistakes and feelings,
dies slowly.

He or she who does not turn things topsy-turvy,
who is unhappy at work,
who does not risk certainty for uncertainty,
to thus follow a dream,
those who do not forego sound advice at least once in their lives,
die slowly.

He who does not travel, who does not read,
who does not listen to music,
who does not find grace in himself,
she who does not find grace in herself,
dies slowly.

He who slowly destroys his own self-esteem,
who does not allow himself to be helped,
who spends days on end complaining about his own bad luck, about the rain that never stops,
dies slowly.

He or she who abandon a project before starting it, who fail to ask questions on subjects he doesn't know, he or she who don't reply when they are asked something they do know,
die slowly.

Let's try and avoid death in small doses,
reminding oneself that being alive requires an effort far greater than the simple fact of breathing.

Only a burning patience will lead
to the attainment of a splendid happiness.
Pablo Neruda

  • Links to Pablo Neruda

    1. To never forget this poetry I will post it in my blog as well. Thank you! :)

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. I am from Austin, Texas. I found this poem in Italian through a link on a friend's website and was experimenting with the translation tool on my iMac to see if I could understand any of it. Even though the translation was poor, it brought tears to my eyes. I emailed my friend to see if he would translate it for me and he emailed me back the link to this site. I am so pleased to find this English translation of this wonderful poem and I look forward to learning more about the poetry of Pablo Neruda. Many thanks to whomever posted the English version! I hope you will continue to post in English along with the language of origin ( I am trying to strengthen my foreign language skills : )


    4. If you wanna be warmed, let the sun warm you

      If you are goint to cheat, cheat your stomach

      If you are going to cry, cry from happiness

      If you are going to lie, lie about your age

      If you are going to steal, steal a kiss

      If you are going to lose something, lose the fear

      If there is hunger, be it hunger for love

      If it is to be happy, make it all the time

      1. Thats great poem :)

      2. Anonymous8:59 PM


    5. SayNoMore2:51 PM

      Hey!!! This poem was written by Martha Medeiros, a Brazilian writer, not by Pablo Neruda!!!

      1. True! It has been over the Internet for years with the wrong information. This information is confirmed by Neruda Foundation ( You're not going to find this poem in his site.

    6. it is not neruda's
      It is martha medeiros, a brazilian poet.
      It is a internet misunderstanding

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    8. Anonymous5:34 AM

      This poem is wrongly attributed to Pablo Neruda. It is a poem my Martha Medeiros. She is great!!!

    9. I really like everything i read here..Thank you

    10. Anonymous3:20 AM

      This poem is not written by Pablo Neruda and isn´t published under his name, naturally. That´s an urban legend. It was written by Brazilian poet, Martha Medeiros, therefore she deserves to be credited. Like many others, she is a fan of Neruda´s work. Don´t believe everything you read... just because it´s on the internet! ,-)

    11. Anonymous10:55 PM


    12. Anonymous9:16 AM

      The internet also seems to habitually skip over the second strophe, namely “Muere lentamente quien hace de la televisión su gurú.” It's a fun one, I think :)

    13. Elaheh1:45 AM

      The first time I read this opem was in Fasi . I really liked its optimistic attitute. thx to the translator I can send it to my friends in English too.

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    16. Anonymous4:09 PM

      MARTHA MEDEIROS is the author of this poem!!!!

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