Los Nacimientos

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Los Nacimientos  by Pablo Neruda

For Spanish: Listen

For English: Read below

Births

We will never remember dying.
We were so patient
about our being,
noting down
the numbers, the days,
the years and the months,
the hair, the mouths we kissed,
but that moment of dying:
we surrender it  without a note,
we leave it to others as memory,
or we leave it simply to water,
to water, to air, to time.
Nor do we even keep
the memory of our birth,
although to come into being was tumultuous and new;
and now you don’t remember a single detail
and haven’t kept even a trace
of your first light.
It’s well known that we are born.
It’s well known that in the room
or in the woods
or in the shelter in the fishermen’s quarter
or in the rustling canefields
there is a very unusual silence,
a moment solemn as wood
and a woman prepares to give birth.
It’s well known that we were born.
but of the profound jolt
from not being to existing, to having hands,
to seeing, to having eyes,
to eating and weeping and overflowing
and loving and loving and suffering and suffering,
of that transition, that quivering
of an electric presence, raising up
one body more, like a living cup,
and of that disinhabited woman,
the mother who is left there in her blood
and her lacerated fullness,
and her end and beginning, and the disorder
tumbling the pulse, the floor, the covers
till everything comes together and adds
one more knot to the thread of life,
nothing, nothing remains in your memory
of the savage sea which summoned up a wave
and knocked down a dark apple from the tree.
The only thing you remember is your life.

My Birth

Artwork: My Birth by Frida Kahlo (1932)

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