Today Isn’t Everything
by Pablo Neruda
Something of yesterday clings to today,
a flag or a potsherd;
or simply a notion of light,
the scum on a midnight’s aquarium,
an unwithering thread—
essential tenacity, gold in the air:
something persists, whatever passes away
a little diminished, to fall under the arrows
of the hostile sun and its combats.
in the glowing autonomy
of the positive day
that we lived
did a portent of seagulls
stay on, circling back as if it would stagger
the mix of its blue with the blue
that had vanished?
I tell you:
Inside the light
your soul makes its circle,
refining itself to extinction,
or enlarging its rings like the stroke of a bell.
And between death and rebirth
the space is less grand
than we thought, the frontier
Light’s shape is round as a ring
and we move ourselves by its movements.
Translation: Ben Belitt
From Late and Posthumous Poems: 1968-1974