Maybe We Have Time By Pablo Neruda Translated By Alastair Reid

Maybe we still have time

to be and to be just.
Yesterday, truth died
a most untimely death,
and although everyone knows it,
they all go on pretending.
No one has sent it flowers.
It’s dead now and no one weeps.

Maybe between grief and forgetting,
a little before the burial,
we will have the chance
of our death and our life
to go from street to street,
from sea to sea, from port to port,
from mountain to mountain,
and, above all, from man to man,
to find out if we killed it
or if other people did,
if it was our enemies
or our love that committed the crime,
because now truth is dead
and now we can be just.

Before, we had to battle
with weapons of doubtful caliber
and, wounding ourselves, we forgot
what we were fighting about.
We never knew whose it was,
the blood that shrouded us,
we made endless accusations,
endlessly we were accused.
They suffered, we suffered,
and when they at last won
and we also won,
truth was already dead
of violence or old age.
Now there is nothing to do.
We all lost the battle.

And so I think that maybe
at last we could be just
or at last we could simply be.
We have this final moment,
and then forever
for not being, for not coming back.

6 thoughts on “Maybe We Have Time By Pablo Neruda Translated By Alastair Reid”

  1. Neruda being one of my favourite poets, it’s great to see a translation of ALASTAIR REID here, Anyone knows where to find more translations from him? “headlessfiction” the poem “Tonight I can write the saddest lines..” also is on of the poems that made me read more Neruda poems.

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