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The Monday Poem > 'Die Slowly' by Martha Madeiros (18/11/2013)

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message 1: by Akylina (new)

Akylina 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.


message 2: by Jenny (new)

Jenny (jeoblivion) | 4869 comments Beautiful poem. Thank you Akylina! I read this in the midst of doing three things at the same time and it felt like time was starting to move a tiny bit slower while I was reading it, basically as if the poem sat me down on a chair very gently and told me to hold still for a bit. I guess How very weird that just a few minutes ago another thread Leslie explained to me the meaning of 'topsy-turvy'!


message 3: by Petra (new)

Petra | 3246 comments Lovely! Pablo Neruda has such wonderful poems.
This poem is beautiful.


message 4: by Alannah (new)

Alannah Clarke (alannahclarke) | 11550 comments Mod
Beautiful. Thank you for sharing.


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

Wonderful poem, I enjoyed that


message 6: by Amber (new)

Amber (amberterminatorofgoodreads) that's so beautiful. ^_^


message 7: by Dhanaraj (new)

Dhanaraj Rajan | 2962 comments Long back I had read some of P. Neruda's poems on love and I loved them. Most recently I came across another of his fantastic poems in a Christa Wolf's novel that spoke of the transition from childhood to adulthood. And this is next. A lovely poem.


message 8: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 15985 comments I love the sentiments expressed! I must read more of Neruda's work...


message 9: by LauraT (new)

LauraT (laurata) | 13144 comments Mod
How I love Neruda, and this particular poem in particular.
Thinking that he dared do live like he said and payed dearly for it...


message 10: by kathe (new)

kathe (kvtarazona) I love Pablo Neruda! This is a good translation too. You should try César Vallejo as well. He is my favorite above all. Though, I've only read him in Spanish. Oh! Another great recommendations of the such are Idea Valeriño and César Moro. all of them are South American :)


message 11: by Helen (new)

Helen | 47 comments A thought provoking poem - thank you for sharing this.


message 12: by Shirley (new)

Shirley | 4177 comments A very powerful and moving poem. I loved reading this and have been mulling it over for days now. Thank you so much for sharing this poem, Akylina!


message 13: by Sally (new)

Sally Rees | 27 comments Wonderful poem and love this poet. One of my favourite lines -' let's try and avoid death in small doses'
Very poignant. Thanks for sharing it.


message 14: by Eliana (new)

Eliana | 24 comments When I was indulging in reams of Neruda earlier this year, I ran across this poem, but also some controversy about attribution. Apparently the Neruda Foundation says it is not a Neruda poem (though very widely misattributed to him) and a Brazilian poet Martha Medeiros claims authorship. fwiw.

...though it is an amazing poem!


message 15: by Annie (new)

Annie | 1 comments THIS IS NOT A NERUDA POEM. It's not a "controversy." The Neruda Foundation should know! Here's proof: http://www.laht.com/article.asp?Artic...

It doesn't SOUND like a Neruda poem and I'm surprised that so many people who love Neruda couldn't detect that.


message 16: by Diane S ☔ (new)

Diane S ☔ Well whoever wrote it, I found it wonderful, beautiful, and poignant.


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