The Night in Isla Negra
Ancient night and the unruly salt
beat at the walls of my house.
The shadow is all one, the sky
throbs now along with the ocean,
and sky and shadow erupt
in the crash of their vast conflict.
All night long they struggle;
nobody knows the name
of the harsh light that keeps slowly opening
like a languid fruit.
So on the coast comes to light,
out of seething shadow, the harsh dawn,
gnawed at by the moving salt,
swept clean by the mass of night,
bloodstained in its sea-washed crater.
Pablo Neruda (July 12, 1904 September 23, 1973) was the pen name of the Chilean writer Ricardo Eliecer Neftal Reyes Basoalto. Considered one of the greatest Spanish-language poets of the 20th century, Neruda was a prolific writer, his output ranging from erotically charged love poems, surrealist poems, historical epics, and overtly political poems, to poems on common things, like nature and the sea. In 1971, Neruda was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.