Famous Sad Poem

"Walking Around" by Pablo Neruda delves into the disquieting thoughts of the speaker, exploring their disillusionment with life and a profound desire to break free from societal constraints. Through vivid imagery and metaphor, Neruda uses the repetitious line "It so happens I am sick of being a man" to create a rhythmic structure that emphasizes the speaker's growing discontent. The poem also employs contrasting imagery, such as the juxtaposition of a "swan made of felt" and "water of wombs and ashes," to evoke a sense of emotional and existential turmoil. Neruda's use of surreal and unsettling scenes, like wanting to "terrify a law clerk with a cut lily" or "kill a nun with a blow on the ear," further contributes to the poem's dark and introspective tone. The poem's vivid language and exploration of existential themes make it a thought-provoking piece that invites readers to reflect on the complexities of human existence.

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Famous Poem

Walking Around

Pablo Neruda By more Pablo Neruda

It so happens I am sick of being a man.
And it happens that I walk into tailorshops and movie houses
dried up, waterproof, like a swan made of felt
steering my way in a water of wombs and ashes.

The smell of barbershops makes me break into hoarse sobs.
The only thing I want is to lie still like stones or wool.
The only thing I want is to see no more stores, no gardens,
no more goods, no spectacles, no elevators.

It so happens I am sick of my feet and my nails
and my hair and my shadow.
It so happens I am sick of being a man.

Still it would be marvelous
to terrify a law clerk with a cut lily,
or kill a nun with a blow on the ear.
It would be great
to go through the streets with a green knife
letting out yells until I died of the cold.

I don’t want to go on being a root in the dark,
insecure, stretched out, shivering with sleep,
going on down, into the moist guts of the earth,
taking in and thinking, eating every day.

I don’t want so much misery.
I don’t want to go on as a root and a tomb,
alone under the ground, a warehouse with corpses,
half frozen, dying of grief.

That’s why Monday, when it sees me coming
with my convict face, blazes up like gasoline,
and it howls on its way like a wounded wheel,
and leaves tracks full of warm blood leading toward the night.

And it pushes me into certain corners, into some moist houses,
into hospitals where the bones fly out the window,
into shoeshops that smell like vinegar,
and certain streets hideous as cracks in the skin.

There are sulphur-colored birds, and hideous intestines
hanging over the doors of houses that I hate,
and there are false teeth forgotten in a coffeepot,
there are mirrors
that ought to have wept from shame and terror,
there are umbrellas everywhere, and venoms, and umbilical cords.

I stroll along serenely, with my eyes, my shoes,
my rage, forgetting everything,
I walk by, going through office buildings and orthopedic shops,
and courtyards with washing hanging from the line:
underwear, towels and shirts from which slow
dirty tears are falling.

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