Poetry doesn't belong to those who write it, but those who need it.
These aren’t my words, its a line from the script of Il Postino – an Italian language movie that was released in 1994. One of the first gifts Fay gave me was a book of poems by Pablo Neruda – Twenty Poems of Love and a Song of Despair. I wasn’t much of a lover of poetry and I still do not consider myself one now. But I do not know why Pablo Neruda’s poems touch a sensitive part of my heart.
I cannot count how many nights the poems in Il Postino’s soundtrack accompanied me in my moments of solitude and melancholy. Kapag madrama ang gabi ko, I would just listen to the soundtrack which includes Neruda poems being read by personalities like Sting, Madonna, Andy Garcia, Julia Roberts and others.
Last Friday, Fay and I watched the movie in UP. Honestly, my taste for movies is not really that sophisticated. Inaantok ako sa mga films na kahit award-winning at critically acclaimed pero walang action at putukan. Usually di pa kalahati ng film ay natutulog na ako. But Il Postino was an exception, it did not only keep awake, the movie overwhelmed me. It was light as it was deep, funny, happy and sad.
The plot was quite simple. It was a fictional story about the friendship between Mario Ruoppolo, a fisherman’s son turned postman and Pablo Neruda who was exiled in Mario’s home island in Sicily. It was a story of a friendship of a very humble person and a besieged popular icon. For me it was a story of how a humble and lowly person can do great things for a friend and how a great and popular person can be humbled by such a friend.
Here is a poem from the Il Postino Sountrack:
Tonight I can Write the Saddest Lines
by Pablo Neruda / Read by Andy Garcia
And finally here is an excerpt of a tribute to Pablo Neruda and his poetry: