(Translation (c) Heidi Fischbach. Read Neruda’s original “Pido Silencio” here
Now if you’d leave me in peace.
Now if you’d get on without me.
I am going to close my eyes
And I only want five things,
five favorite roots.
The first is love without end.
The second is to see autumn.
I cannot be without leaves
flying away and returning to earth.
Third is grave winter,
the rain I loved, the caress
of a fire in a wilderness of cold.
In fourth place is summertime
round like a watermelon.
The fifth thing is your eyes,
Matilde, my love, my beloved,
I don’t want to sleep without your eyes,
I don’t want to be without you seeing me:
I’d trade springtime
for your gaze still upon me.
My friends, all of that is what I want.
It’s nearly nothing and almost everything.
And now if you wish you may leave.
So much have I lived that one day
you’ll have to make yourselves forget me,
erasing the blackboard of me:
my heart was endless.
But just because I ask for silence
don’t go thinking I’m about to die:
it so happens I am going to be lived.
It just so happens that I am and I keep being.
I will not be dying for within me
grains will grow,
first the kernels that break through
the ground to see light,
but mother earth is dark:
and inside me I am dark:
I am like a well in whose waters
the nighttime leaves her stars
and goes on alone through the fields.
This is about my having lived so much
that I want to live another much.
Never have I felt such resonance,
never have I had so many kisses.
Now, as always, it is early.
The light takes flight with her bees.
Leave me alone with this day.
I ask permission to be born.
I was watching Betty Kaplan’s film of Isabel Allende’s “de Amor y des Sombra”, and part of “Pido Silencio” was quoted. Your Website (and translation) popped up in my Google search. Thank you.
I enjoyed this translation as much as the original Spanish version. I’m sure even Neruda would have applauded especially this verse: It’s nearly nothing and almost everything. Much much stronger than: es casi todo y casi nada.