- Pablo Neruda, quote from Las Uvas y el viento painted on his home in Isla Negra
This morning I went to Isla Negra to visit the house and grave of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda - only a 15 minute micro ride away from ECIM!
I had heard of Pablo Neruda from several friends over the years, but never really got to know his work until I moved here. Now I see why everyone loves him. Here's just an example, one of my favorite poems from Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair: Me gustas cuando callas
Me gustas cuando callas porque estás como ausente,
y me oye desde lejos, y mi voz no te toca.
Parece que los ojos se te hubieran volado
y parece que un beso te cerrara la boca.
Como todas las cosas están llenas de mi alma
emerges de las cosas, llena del alma mía.
Mariposa de sueño, te pareces a mi alma,
y te pareces a la palabra melancolía.
Me gustas cuando cllas y estás como distante.
Y estás como quejándote, mariposa en arrullo.
Y me oyes desde lejos, y mi voz no te alcanza:
Déjame que me calle con el silencio tuyo.
Déjame que te hable también con tu silencio
claro como una lámpara, simple como un anillo.
Eres como la noche, callada y constelada.
Tu silencio es de estrella, tan lejano y sencillo.
Me gustas cuando callas porque estás como ausente
Distante y dolorosa como si hubieras muerto.
Una palabra entonces, una sonrisa bastan.
Y estoy alegre, alegre que no sea cierto.
Just like his poems, Neruda's homes are dramatic. Neruda loved the ocean, so the two houses I've seen of his (including La Chascona in Santiago) were built to resemble ships. Plus, the homes are full of his collections of random things from his travels, from shells to bottles. Although I preferred La Chascona, the Isla Negra home was built in a more impressive location on a headland overlooking the ocean. Here are some pictures:
Collection of bottles in the bar
But do you want to know what the most exciting part of the day was? Right before the tour, I found HORSE jerky in a market in the center of Isla Negra!
If you know one thing about me it's that I love trying new foods. So I couldn't pass it up no matter how many images of Mr. Ed popped into my head. Unlike beef jerky, it had a milder flavor and was really tender - I would actually eat it again.
It was funny because later the tour guide took us inside Neruda's favorite room of his house, the centerpiece of which was a life-size wooden horse! It used to stand in front of a store near his house growing up. He always wanted to buy it because it brought him such great childhood memories. But he had to wait until the store burned down before he could own it. He was so excited that he built a special room that had a barn door and had a welcome party!