LONG POEMS: “Ode to a cat” by Pablo Neruda “Oda al gato”

“Ode to a cat”

The animals were
imperfect
 long tails, sad
heads.
Little by little they started
to improve,
becoming landscape,
acquiring moles, grace, flight.
The cat,
just the cat alone
appeared complete
and proud:
was born completely finished,
walking alone and knowing what he wants.

Man wants to be fish and bird,
the serpent would like to have wings,
the dog is a disoriented lion,
the engineer wants to be a poet,
the fly studies to become a swallow,
the poet tries to imitate the fly,
but the cat,
he wants to be just a cat
and every cat is a cat
from his whiskers to his tail,
from foreboding to a living rat,
from the night to his golden eyes.

There is no unit
like him,

Nor the moon or the flower
have such context,
it’s one thing
like the sun or a topaz,
and the elastic line in its silhouette
firm and subtle is like
the line of the bow of a ship.
His yellow eyes
they left only one
groove
to drop the coins of the night.

Oh little
emperor without orb,
conqueror without country,
small salon’s tiger
sultan of heaven
of the erotic roof tops,
the wind of love
in the open air
that you claim
when you pass
and pose your
four delicate feet
on the floor,
sniffing,
distrusting
of all terrestrial things,
because everything
it’s unclean
for the immaculate foot of the cat.

Oh independent wild creature
of the house, arrogant
vestige of the night,
lazy, gymnastic
and foreign,
deep cat,
secret police
of the rooms in the house,
insignia
of vanished velvet,
surely there is no
enigma
in your way,
maybe you’re not a mystery,
everybody knows you and you belong
to the less mysterious inhabitant,
maybe everybody believes it,
they all believe they are cat owners, uncles,  companions,
colleagues,
disciples or friends
of their cat.

I do not.
I do not subscribe to this idea.
I do not know the cat.
I know about everything else, life and its archipelago,
the sea and the incalculable city,
the botanical gynoecium with its misdeeds,
the times and minus of mathematics,
the world’s volcanic funnels,
the unreal crocodile shell,
the ignored goodness of the firefighter,
the priest’s blue atavism,
but I can not decipher a cat.
My reason slipped through his indifference,
his eyes have numbers of gold.

Pablo Neruda

art-apofiss-koshka-kot-chernyy

 “Ode to a cat”

Los animales fueron
imperfectos,
largos de cola, tristes
de cabeza.
Poco a poco se fueron
componiendo,
haciéndose paisaje,
adquiriendo lunares, gracia, vuelo.
El gato,
sólo el gato
apareció completo
y orgulloso:
nació completamente terminado,
camina solo y sabe lo que quiere.

El hombre quiere ser pescado y pájaro,
la serpiente quisiera tener alas,
el perro es un león desorientado,
el ingeniero quiere ser poeta,
la mosca estudia para golondrina,
el poeta trata de imitar la mosca,
pero el gato
quiere ser sólo gato
y todo gato es gato
desde bigote a cola,
desde presentimiento a rata viva,
desde la noche hasta sus ojos de oro.

No hay unidad
como él,
no tienen
la luna ni la flor
tal contextura:
es una sola cosa
como el sol o el topacio,
y la elástica línea en su contorno
firme y sutil es como
la línea de la proa de una nave.
Sus ojos amarillos
dejaron una sola
ranura
para echar las monedas de la noche.

Oh pequeño
emperador sin orbe,
conquistador sin patria,
mínimo tigre de salón, nupcial
sultán del cielo
de las tejas eróticas,
el viento del amor
en la intemperie
reclamas
cuando pasas
y posas
cuatro pies delicados
en el suelo,
oliendo,
desconfiando
de todo lo terrestre,
porque todo
es inmundo
para el inmaculado pie del gato.

Oh fiera independiente
de la casa, arrogante
vestigio de la noche,
perezoso, gimnástico
y ajeno,
profundísimo gato,
policía secreta
de las habitaciones,
insignia
de un
desaparecido terciopelo,
seguramente no hay
enigma
en tu manera,
tal vez no eres misterio,
todo el mundo te sabe y perteneces
al habitante menos misterioso,
tal vez todos lo creen,
todos se creen dueños,
propietarios, tíos
de gatos, compañeros,
colegas,
discípulos o amigos
de su gato.

Yo no.
Yo no suscribo.
Yo no conozco al gato.
Todo lo sé, la vida y su archipiélago,
el mar y la ciudad incalculable,
la botánica,
el gineceo con sus extravíos,
el por y el menos de la matemática,
los embudos volcánicos del mundo,
la cáscara irreal del cocodrilo,
la bondad ignorada del bombero,
el atavismo azul del sacerdote,
pero no puedo descifrar un gato.
Mi razón resbaló en su indiferencia,
sus ojos tienen números de oro.

Pablo Neruda

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