“A Dog Has Died

June 2, 2018 in Poetry, Spanish by jgburke

Translation by Lorena Espinoza

A Dog Has Died

My dog has died.

I buried him in the garden

next to an old, oxidized machine.

 

Someday he will join me

Right here in this spot.

Now he has gone with his fur,

His bad etiquette, and his cool nose

 

and I, the materialist that does not believe

in the heavenly sky promised

to no human,

Not to this dog, nor for all dog kind.

I believe in paradise, yes, I believe in a paradise,

One I will never enter, but where

he will be waiting for me

rotating his propeller-like tail,

so that I, upon arriving, will have a friend.

 

Oh I will not tell of my sadness,

for not having my companion anymore,

because he was never my servant.

 

His friendship towards me was reminiscent of a hedgehog

that protects his autonomy,

It was the friendship of an independent star

 

without more intimacy than was appropriate,

without exaggerations:

he did not climb up on my clothes

leaving his fur nor germs on me,

he did not rub up against my leg

like other sex-obsessed dogs.

 

No, my dog looked at me

giving me the attention I need,

the necessary attention

to make a vain man comprehend,

that his existence as a dog,

with eyes purer than mine,

was losing my time, yet he looked at me

with a gaze reserved only for me

all of his sweet, furry life,

his silent life,

Always by my side, without ever bothering me,

without expectations of me.

 

Oh, how many times I wished I, too, had a tail,

While walking with him by the seashore,

in the Isla Negra winter,

in the grand solitude: the winter birds

Taking over the sky above us,

and my fluffy dog jumping, his wavering fur

Full of marine voltage

My dog, the wanderer, sniffing away

While flying his golden tail like a kite

Face to face with the Ocean and its foam.

 

Chipper, chipper, chipper.

Happy like only a dog knows how to be,

with only the absolutism of their shameless nature.

 

There are no goodbyes for my dog that has died,

and there is not, nor was there ever, a single lie between us.

 

Now my dog has gone, and I buried him, and that was all.

________________________________________________________________________

Original poem by Pablo Neruda

Un Perro Ha Muerto

Mi perro ha muerto.  

Lo enterré en el jardín

junto a una vieja máquina oxidada.  

Allí, no más abajo,  

ni más arriba,

se juntará conmigo alguna vez.

Ahora él ya se fue con su pelaje,  

su mala educación, su nariz fría.  

Y yo, materialista que no cree  

en el celeste cielo prometido

para ningún humano,  

para este perro o para todo perro  

creo en el cielo, sí, creo en un cielo  

donde yo no entraré, pero él me espera  

ondulando su cola de abanico  

para que yo al llegar tenga amistades.  

 

Ay no diré la tristeza en la tierra  

de no tenerlo más por compañero,  

que para mí jamás fue un servidor.  

Tuvo hacia mí la amistad de un erizo

que conservaba su soberanía,  

la amistad de una estrella independiente

sin más intimidad que la precisa,  

sin exageraciones:

no se trepaba sobre mi vestuario

llenándome de pelos o de sarna,  

no se frotaba contra mi rodilla  

como otros perros obsesos sexuales.  

No, mi perro me miraba  

dándome la atención que necesito,  

la atención necesaria  

para hacer comprender a un vanidoso

que siendo perro él,

con esos ojos, más puros que los míos,  

perdía el tiempo, pero me miraba  

con la mirada que me reservó  

toda su dulce, su peluda vida,  

su silenciosa vida,

cerca de mí, sin molestarme nunca,  

y sin pedirme nada.

 

Ay cuántas veces quise tener cola

andando junto a él por las orillas

del mar, en el invierno de Isla Negra,  

en la gran soledad: arriba el aire

traspasado de pájaros glaciales,

y mi perro brincando, hirsuto, lleno  

de voltaje marino en movimiento:  

mi perro vagabundo y olfatorio  

enarbolando su cola dorada

frente a frente al Océano y su espuma.  

 

Alegre, alegre, alegre  

como los perros saben ser felices,

sin nada más, con el absolutismo  

de la naturaleza descarada.

 

No hay adiós a mi perro que se ha muerto.

Y no hay ni hubo mentira entre nosotros.

Ya se fue y lo enterré, y eso era todo.

________________________________________________________________________

Lorena Espinoza

Lorena Espinoza is a second year student at UC San Diego majoring in Literature/Writing. When she is not writing for her coursework, she is writing for own enjoyment. She hopes to work in publishing and/or editing after college.

 

Pablo Neruda

Pablo Neruda, the winner of a Nobel Prize for Literature, was a Chilean poet who actively wrote works of literature since the young age of thirteen. Neruda is recognized for many famous works such as his collection Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair.

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