“The World Filled Up” by Pablo Neruda

Such pretty treasures so lately
laid up by acquisitive man,
the man manufacturer!
The planet I knew as a boy was stark
naked, but it filled, little by little,
with pulverized ingots,
aluminum lemons,
the electric intestines
that hammer inside machines,
which a synthetic Niagara
poured over the kitchens.

Now in our nineteen hundred and seventieth
year nothing can budge
on the highways and meadows:
only brash locomotives,
pestiferous motorcycles,
collapsing automobiles,
big-bellied plans bearing down
on the end of the world:
nothing yields to us on the freeways,
no one opens a petal,
all collects in the sand and the
valley and strangles the bell-towers:

and blots out the moon.

Venice sank
under the gasoline;
all Moscow bulged—even
the birches, from the Kremlin
into the Urals, are dying.
Chicago got higher and higher and
then tumbled into the street
all of a sudden, like dice from a cup.

I saw the last bird fly
toward Mendoza, up in the Andes.
Remembering it now, I leak
tears of pure penicillin.


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