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06 May 2007

My Favorite Poem

I discovered this poem a couple years ago when it was featured on the Turner Classic Movie channel as part of a holiday special, and it's been my favorite poem ever since (though Neruda is still my favorite poet). I can't explain why, nor do I truly understand what the poem means, but for some reason the words speak to me like nothing before or since and every time I hear it or read it I feel a not unpleasant warmth and melancholy. To fully appreciate it I think you'd have to hear it read aloud - the TCM piece was very well done and would be the ideal presentation, but it is unfortunately unavailable as far as I can tell. In any case, I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do.

"Being But Men"
by Dylan Thomas

Being but men, we walked into the trees
Afraid, letting our syllables be soft
For fear of waking the rooks,
For fear of coming
Noiselessly into a world of wings and cries.

If we were children we might climb,
Catch the rooks sleeping, and break no twig,
And, after the soft ascent,
Thrust out our heads above the branches
To wonder at the unfailing stars.

Out of confusion, as the way is,
And the wonder, that man knows,
Out of the chaos would come bliss.

That, then, is loveliness, we said,
Children in wonder watching the stars,
Is the aim and the end.

Being but men, we walked into the trees.


Josh said...

Nice one. I've never read any Neruda. What's a good one to start with?

Jeremy Trombley said...

I'm Glad you like it.
Neruda is great! My favorite of his collections is Fully Empowered followed closely by Extravagaria. It's powerful stuff. I'll try to post something of his later on.

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