Pablo Neruda :: So Is My Life

My duty moves along with my song:

I am I am not: that is my destiny. 

I exist not if I do not attend to the pain

of those who suffer: they are my pains.

For I cannot be without existing for all,

for all who are silent and oppressed,

I come from the people and I sing for them:

my poetry is song and punishment. 

I am told: you belong to darkness. 

Perhaps, perhaps, but I walk toward the light.

I am the man of bread and fish

and you will not find me among books

but with women and men:

they have taught me the infinite. 

(Trans: Miguel Algarin)