Sunset in Mui Wo, Lantau Island, HK 2010

Sunset over Mui Wo, Lantau Island, HK

From dust-laden glances, fallen to earth

or noiseless leaves, self-buried.

From tarnished metals, with the void incarnate,

with the absence of day, dead of a stroke.

In hand-heights, the dazzle of butterflies,

butterflies setting sail in their unbound light.

You were guardian to the light’s stelae, fragmented beings

the late and tardy sun flung at the churches.

Glance-tinted, with the aim of the bees,

your embodiment of unlooked-for flame in flight

preceded and follows day, his golden kin.

Days cruise in secret and lie in ambush

but fall into the trap: your voice of light.

Oh lady of the house of love – in your repose

I ground my dreams, my hushed expectancy.

With your body shyly numbered, extended suddenly

out to the quantities which have defined the earth,

beyond the broils of the white days in space,

cold with the slow deaths and withering incentives,

I feel your lap burning and your kisses passing

like early summer swallows in my dreams.

Times are when what your tears may wish to be

like age reaches my forehead-

there waves are battering, tripping themselves to death:

their motion humid, fallen, final.

(Translated by N.T.)

Sunset in Mui Wo, Lantau Island, HK 2010
The River Silver, Mui Wo, Lantau Island, HK


Poetry by Pablo Neruda

A Study Guide to Pablo Neruda’s Poems