The rafters in Pablo Neruda’s studio, photographed by Milton Rogovin. This photo appears in Rogovin’s book, Windows That Open Inward (Rogovin, M., Maloney, D., Bly, R. and Neruda, P. 1985. Windows that open inward. Buffalo, N.Y.: White Pine Press).
THE NAMES by Pablo Neruda
I didn’t write them on the roofbeams because they
were famous, but because they were companions
Rojas Giménez, the nomad, nocturnal, pierced with
the grief of farewells, dead with joy pigeon breeder, madman
of the shadows
Joaquín Cifruntes, whose verses rolled like stones in
Fredrico, who made me laugh like no on else could
and who put us all in mourning for a century.
Paul Eluard, whose forget-me-not color eyes are as sky
blue as always and retain their blue strength under the earth.
Miguel Hernándes, whistling to me like a nightingale
from the trees on Princesa Street until they caged my
Nazim, noisy bard, brave gentleman, friend.
Why did they leave so soon? Their names will not slip
down from the rafters. Each one of them was a victory.
Together they were the sum of my light. Now, a small
anthology of my sorrow.