This Broken Bell — by Pablo Neruda

By Ernie Jones

This Broken Bell

by Pablo Neruda
Translated by Ernie Jones

This broken bell
wants to sing nonetheless:
the metal is green now,
the bell is the color of jungle,
color of pools of water in the woods,
color of the day in the leaves.

The bronze broken and green,
the bell facedown
and sleeping
was entwined by the entwiners,
and from the hard gold of bronze
it turned the color of frogs:
it was the hands of the water,
the dampness of the coast,
that lent verdure to the metal,
tenderness to the bell.

This broken bell
downcast in the rough thicket
of my wild garden,
green bell, wounded,
buries its scars in the grass:
it calls to no one, nobody gathers
at its green cup
but one butterfly who pulses
over the fallen metal and flies away
on yellow wings.

 

Photo: Bell by Wayne Noffsinger