Die Slowly

I want to share with you a poem by Pablo Neruda that has been my Bible since I read it.

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,
dies slowly.

He or she who shuns passion,
who prefers black on white,
dotting ones i’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,
dies slowly.

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,
die slowly.

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,
dies slowly.

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,
dies slowly.

He or she who abandons a project before starting it, who fails to ask questions on subjects he doesn’t know,  he or she who doesn’t reply when they are asked something they do know,
dies slowly.

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.


11 responses to “Die Slowly

  1. What a lovely poem. Thank you so much for sharing it. It brings to mind some words of Mary Oliver: “Listen, are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life?” My aim is to live the fullest expression of life, to follow my heart and to pursue my passions. “Is there any other way to live?” I ask myself. Not any more, not for me.

    • I need to check out Mary Oliver then, great words. I wish I could apply every line of this poem to my life, but is not always easy to pursue happiness at this extent…

  2. I also love this poem and if you don’t mine I would like to copy it as a reminder. Thank you for posting it and visiting my blog.


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