On June 2, 2008, just days before leaving for South Africa, I started the baby blog Parole in Cammino posting the poem Ode to life, mistakenly attributed to Pablo Neruda. I like the idea of opening this blog, in some ways new, bringing back the same poem, citing the real author: Martha Medeiros, Brazilian poet.
The error has been spread by the Internet and worse after the intervention of Mastella in 2008.
In Repubblica.it , denouncing the error, is written: “Stefano Passigli, president of Passigli Publishers, which publishes Italy in the works of Chilean Nobel, had to make a statement. ”Anyone familiar with his poetry – Passigli says – he realizes at once that those verses banal and vaguely new-age can hardly be the work of one of the greatest poets of the twentieth century.”
Pablo Neruda, however, in his speech at the occasion of the Nobel, says
“solo con una ardiente paciencia conquistaremos la espléndida ciudad que dará luz, justicia y dignidad a todos los hombres. Así la poesía no habrá cantado en vano.”
The phrase is also the ultimate ode to life and is taken from Rimbaud,
“A l’aurore, armes d’une ardent patience, nous entrerons splendides aux villes” (At dawn, armed with burning patience, we will enter in the beautiful city).
ODE TO LIFE by Martha Medeiros
He who becomes the slave of habit,
who follows the same routes every day,
who never changes pace,
who does not risk and change the color of his clothes,
who does not speak and does not experience,
He or she who shuns passion,
who prefers black on white,
dotting ones “it’s” rather than a bundle of emotions, the kind that make your eyes glimmer,
that turn a yawn into a smile,
that make the heart pound in the face of mistakes and feelings,
He or she who does not turn things topsy-turvy,
who is unhappy at work,
who does not risk certainty for uncertainty,
to thus follow a dream,
those who do not forego sound advice at least once in their lives,
He who does not travel, who does not read,
who does not listen to music,
who does not find grace in himself,
she who does not find grace in herself,
He who slowly destroys his own self-esteem,
who does not allow himself to be helped,
who spends days on end complaining about his own bad luck, about the rain that never stops,
He or she who abandon a project before starting it, who fail to ask questions on subjects he doesn’t know, he or she who don’t reply when they are asked something they do know,
Let’s try and avoid death in small doses,
reminding oneself that being alive requires an effort far greater than the simple fact of breathing.
Only a burning patience will lead
to the attainment of a splendid happiness.