View Full Version : Don't die slowly!

08-01-2014, 13:15
Moved to Tenerife about 3 years ago and part of my journey of learning Spanish has been reading Spanish literature and came across this poem which is very touching and thought to translate it to English. It helps all of us with our new year resolutions.
Happy new year :)

From Pablo Neruda

You will die slowly if you become the slave of old patterns and habits,
If you follow the same routes every day,
If you never change pace,
If you do not risk and change the color of your clothes,
If you do not speak your mind and do not experience life to its depth, You will die slowly, and itīd be a shame!

You will die slowly if you shun passion,
If you prefer black on white,
If you prioritise your "I"s to an amazing bundle of passion and emotions, the kind that make your eyes wet, make your mind think, and make your heart tremble, emotions that turn a yawn into laughter, that make the heart pound in the face of mistakes you made and feelings you didnt resolve and address, you will die slowly, and itīd be a shame!

They do die slowly, those who do not turn the table when are unhappy at work,
those who dont face the truth and grow out of a love that makes them bitter and sad.
Those who do not risk certainty for uncertainty, thus to follow a dream, to find love and passion, those who do not say no to "sound" advice at least once in their lives, they do indeed die slowly.

They do die slowly, those who do not travel, who do not read, who do not listen to music, who do not find grace in themselves, indeed they die slowly!

You will die slowly if you slowly destroy your love for yourself, If you do not allow yourself to be helped, and if you spend days no end complaining about your bad luck, about the rain that never stops, you will die slowly, if you keep doing that!

You will die slowly if you abandon something before even starting it, if you fail to ask questions about things that you don't know, and if you don't reply when you are asked something you do know, you will die slowly .

From this very moment try to avoid death in small doses,
reminding yourself that being alive requires an effort far greater than the simple fact of breathing.
Only with ardent patience we reach a wonderful happiness.
Decide today not to die slowly,
decide to live,
and decide to be happy!

08-01-2014, 14:32
It is a very fine poem by a true literary genius. Thankyou LF for your time in putting it up here. Much appreciated.

08-01-2014, 17:18
You are welcome :)
My other favorite poet is Mario Benedetti (Uruguay). And this is my most favorite poem from him with translation to English:

08-01-2014, 17:59
Another wonderful and inspiring poem! Thank you.

life is short
08-01-2014, 18:09
Both are very poignant. Thank you languagefan.

08-01-2014, 19:08
U r all welcome :)
Strange enough the first poem (don't die slowly) is such a touching poem that sending it to some of my friends (last couple of years) has almost immediately led to 1 career change, 2 divorces, and one change of country!! So be v careful reading it! And don't show it to your partners (if u r giving them a hard time!).