III

 

      by Pablo Neruda

 

Tell me, is the rose naked

or is that her only dress?

 

Why do trees conceal

the splendor of their roots?

 

Who hears the regrets

of the thieving automobile?

 

Is there anything in the world sadder

than a train standing in the rain?

 

 

From The Book of Questions, William O’Daly, translator, Port Townsend, Washington, Copper Canyon Press, 2001, page 3. The last question (above) is my favourite Neruda passage, which also echoes with the Japanese notion of sabi.