“Explico Algunas Cosas” por Pablo Neruda

A poem that still speaks to so many struggles today…one in particular.

“I’ll Explain Some Things”

by Pablo Neruda

You’ll ask, Where are the lilacs?

And the philosophy dreamy with poppies?

And the rain which kept beating out

Your words, filling them

With water-specks and birds?

I’m going to tell you everything that happened to me.

I lived in a neighborhood

In Madrid with church bells

And clock towers and trees.

From there you could see

The dry face of Castille

Like a sea of leather

My house was called

“The house with the flowers” because around it

Geraniums exploded. It was

A beautiful house

With dogs and kids.

Raúl, do you remember?

Frederico, do you still remember

Under the ground?

Do you remember my house with the balconies

Where the June light soaked your mouth with

The taste of flowers?

Brother! Brother!

The market place of Arguelles, my neighborhood

With its statue like a pale inkwell among

The fish stalls.

It was all

Loud voices, salty commerce,

A deep rumble

Of feet and hands filled the streets,

Meters and liters,

The sharp essence of life,

Fish stacked up,

The texture of roofs in the cold sun in which

The weather-vane grows tired.

Fine, crazily carved ivory of potatoes

Lines of tomatoes to the sea.

Then one morning flames

Came out of the ground

Devouring human beings.

From then on fire,

Gunpowder from then on,

From then on blood.

Bandits with airplanes and Moorish troops

Bandits with gold rings and duchesses

Bandits with black monks giving their blessing

Came across the sky to kill children

And through the streets, the blood of children

Ran simply, like children’s blood does.

Jackals that a jackal would reject

Stones that a dry thistle would bite and spit out

Vipers that vipers would hate!

I have seen the blood

Of Spain rise up against you

To drown you in a single wave

Of pride and knives!



Look at my dead home

Look at broken Spain –

But from each dead house

Burning metal shoots out

Instead of flowers.

From every shell-hole in Spain

Spain will rise.

From every dead child a rifle with

Eyes will rise.

From every crime bullets will be born

Which will one day find a place

In your hearts.

You ask “Why doesn’t your poetry

Speak to us of dreams and leaves

Of the great volcanoes of your native land?”


See the blood along the streets

Come see

The blood along the streets

Come see the blood

Along the Streets!