Posted by: ktzefr | April 6, 2017

“Questions in My Eyelashes” — Thursday’s Poem

I love the eyelash image from Neruda’s “The First Sea” because it surprises; it’s not an image that pops readily into mind.  But, at the same time, the feeling is recognizable.  I recall my own childhood dreams and questions and urge to break free and expand my world. 

One of my favorite things to do is hike in the Virgin Islands and sometimes the forest can be so dense that you lose sight of the sea, and then you round a bend or a rock or a huge, old acacia tree and there it is!  Like a new discovery each time…

US Virgin Islands National Park; Photo:KFawcett

The First Sea

“I discovered the sea.  From Carahue

the river Cautin flowed to its estuary

and, in the paddleboats,

dreams and another life began to possess me,

leaving questions in my eyelashes.

…I broke free of my roots.

My country grew in size.

My world of wood split open.

The prison of the forests

opened a green door,

letting in the wave and all its thunder,

and, with the shock of the sea,

my life widened out into space.”


El Primer Mar

“Descubrí el mar.  Salia de Carahue

el Cautín a su desembocadura

y en los barcos de rueda comenzaron

los sueños y la vida a detenerme,

a dejar su pregunta en mis pestañas.

…salí de las raíces,

se me agrandó la patria,

es rompió de la unidad de la madera:

la cárcel de los bosques

abrió una puerta verde

por donde entró la ola con su trueno

y se extendió mi vida,

con un golpe de mar, en el espacio.”


Read the complete poem, “The First Sea.”

Note: These passages come from Neruda: On the Blue Shore of Silence/A La Orilla Azul del Silencio, which was published to celebrate the centenary of the birth of Pablo Neruda.  




  1. I love this!

    Sent from my iPad


    • Thanks…Neruda is one of my favorites.

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