Poem for Monday: Ode to the Happy Day

Holton Rower sent us this image, and Neruda’s Ode to the Happy Day jumped into our lap right after it.

Although we’ve had some difficult things to deal with lately — everyone we know has had difficult things to deal with — we love imagining “nothing has happened to anyone“, and then being happy “just because I breathe”, if only for a moment…and then another…and then another…

This time allows me
to be happy,
nothing has happened to anyone,
I am nowhere,
it just happens
I am happy
in the four chambers
of the heart, wandering around,
sleep or writing.
What can I do, I’m
I’m more innumerable
than the grass
in the prairies,
I feel my skin like a wrinkled tree
and water underneath,
birds above,
the sea like a notch
on my belt,
made of bread and stone of earth
the air sings like a guitar.

At my side on the sand
you’re sand,
you sing and are song
the world
is my soul today,
song and sand,
the world is your mouth,
let me
be happy

with you mouth and with the sand,
be happy just because, because I breathe
and because you breathe,
be happy because I touch
your knee
and it’s like touching
the blue skin of the sky
and its freshness.

Today let me
be happy,
with or without everyone,
be happy
with the grass
and the sand,
be happy
with the air and the earth,
be happy,
with you, with your mouth,
be happy.

—Pablo Neruda


from All the Odes: A Bilingual Edition

With thanks to Holton Rower for finding the image

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