# Day 338 (Being alive…)

“There is no editor on the internet so people can put stuff out there that is just absolutely drop dead wrong.” ~ Dr. Phil McGraw (Behind the Headlines)

There was a time when people spoke about the “mesmerism of print”–if you read something in a newspaper or magazine, you just assumed it was unquestionably true. Today the boundaries have expanded even more with the internet giving people unlimited outlets to write and post whatever they want. One would think that as intelligent adults we would be a bit wary of believing everything that pops up on our ‘screens’. And yet believe we do—every email, WhatsApp or forward that comes our way, be it a wonder cure for cancer, the ultimate weight loss remedy or even a poem randomly credited to some famous poet. Then with experience, you learn to do a little ‘veracity-check’ by reading up as much as possible and arrive at some modicum of truth.
Take for example the Spanish poem, “Muere lentamente” (Dying Slowly). It’s been circulating around for years now as an “incredibly thought-provoking poem” by the Nobel prize winning Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. The other day a fragment again popped up as a forward~

“You start dying slowly
if you do not travel,
if you do not read,
if you do not listen to the sounds of life,
if you do not appreciate yourself…

You start dying slowly
when you kill your self-esteem;
when you do not let others help you…

You start dying slowly
if you become a slave of your habits,
walking everyday the same paths…
if you do not change your routine,
if you do not wear different colours
or you do not speak to those you don’t know…

You start dying slowly
if you avoid to feel passion
and their turbulent emotions;
those which make your eyes glisten
and your heart beat faster…

You start dying slowly
if you do not change your life when you are not satisfied…
if you do not risk what is safe for the uncertain,
if you do not go after a dream,
if you do not allow yourself,
at least once in your lifetime,
to run away from sensible advice…”

When i tried to search for the full poem, i found out that he actually never wrote it!! As per a declaration by The Pablo Neruda Foundation: “Die Slowly” falsely attributed to PabloNeruda, has reached a considerable electronic circulation. This poem belongs to Martha Medeiros, a Brazilian writer, author of several books and columnist for the newspaper ‘Zero Hora’ in Porto Alegre. It was published under the name ‘A Morte Devagar’ as mentioned in the newspaper in Nov 2000.”

Perhaps what is being circulated is not even a proper translation of the original for there is another version that is attributed to Martha Medeiros. Then again, if you just love the sentiments for what they are, who wrote them and when just become points for academic discussions. All we need is a gentle reminder now and then~

“Let’s avoid death in small doses,
reminding oneself that being alive requires an effort far greater than the simple fact of breathing…”


About sunsur81

A gatherer of thoughts...exploring myths,metaphors and expressions of life...
This entry was posted in 365 Days Blog-roll, Wizardry of Words and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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