The Book Of Questions

by Britt

I recently read The Book Of Questions by Pablo Neruda – one of my favorite poets.  For those who don’t know, Neruda was born in Chili in 1904.  He was known as a great poet by the time he was a teenager.  He is a Chilean born writer who wrote all his original works in Spanish.  Thankfully, their have been a handful of terrific collections and anthologies of his work translated to English.  In 1971 Neruda won the Noble Prize for Literature.

The Book Of Questions, translated by William O’ Daly.

I thought I’d share some of my favorite questions Neruda asks that really makes one wonder:

“Is there anything in the world sadder than a train standing in the rain?”

“Tell me, is the rose naked or is that her only dress?”

“Does smoke talk with the clouds?”

“What is it that upsets the volcanoes that spit fire, cold and rage?”

“Do tears not yet spilled wait in small lakes?”

“Or are they invisible rivers that run towards sadness?”

“Is the sun the same as yesterdays or is this fire different from that fire?”

“How do the oranges divide up sunlight in the orange tree?”

“Why does the earth grieve when the violets appear?”   (This may be my favorite one!)

“Which birds lead the way when the flock takes flight?”

“Hasn’t the meadow caught fire with wild fireflies?”


“When I see the sea once more will the sea have seen or not seen me?

Why do the waves ask me the same question I ask them?

And why do they strike the rock with so much wasted passion?

Don’t they get tired of repeating their declaration to the sand?”

There are so many more.  Read the book.  It’s fabulous and really makes you think differently about your surroundings!

© Brittany DiGiacomo 2014