Acid and sword blade: the fragrance
of plum in the pathways:
tooth’s sweetmeat of kisses,
power and spilth on the fingers,
the yielding erotic of pulps,
hayricks and threshing floors, clandestine
recesses that tempt through the vastness of houses;
bolsters asleep in the past, the bitter green valley,
seen from above, from the glasses’ concealment;
and drenching and flaring by turns, adolescence
like a lamp overturned in the rain.
“Youth” from General Song, 1950
Published in Selected Poems of Pablo Neruda
Edited and translated by Ben Belitt
Copyright © Fundación Pablo Neruda, 2009
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