July 1, 2013 by The Citron Review
by Pablo Neruda
–English Translation by Caleb Beissert
Orinoco, leave me on your banks
of that timeless hour:
then let me go naked,
entering your baptismal darkness.
Orinoco of scarlet water,
let me sink my hands in,
hands that return to your maternity, to your current,
river of races, land of roots,
your broad murmur, your wild, thin sheet
comes from where I come, from the poor
and lofty solitudes, from a secret
like blood, from a silent
mother of clay.
Caleb Beissert is a poet, translator, musician, and freelance writer from Washington, D.C., now living in Asheville, North Carolina. His work has appeared in International Poetry Review, Tar River Poetry, Asheville Poetry Review, WNC Magazine, and Beatitude: Golden Anniversary, 1959-2009. Beissert’s first book, a selection of English-language adaptations of the poetry of Pablo Neruda and Federico García Lorca, Beautiful: Translations from the Spanish, was published by New Native Press in 2013.
Caleb, so happy to see your beautiful translations here!
Thanks! It is lovely to read your work here, as well. I especially like “Milk Porcelain.”