Favourite Forever: Pablo Neruda


It was passed from one bird to another the whole gift of the day.
The day went from flute to flute,
went dressed in vegetation,
in flights which opened a tunnel
through the wind would pass
to where birds were breaking open
the dense blue air –
and there, night came in.

When I returned from so many journeys,
I stayed suspended and green
between sun and geography –
I saw how wings worked,
how perfumes are transmitted
by feathery telegraph,
and from above I saw the path,
the springs and the roof tiles .
the fishermen at their trades,
the trousers of the foam;
I saw it all from my green sky.
I had no more alphabet
than the swallows in their courses,
the tiny, shining water of the small bird on fire
which dances out of the pollen.

Love Sonnet XVII

I do not love you as if you were a salt rose, or topaz
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
So I love you because I know no other way

than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,

    so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

    Saddest Poem

    I can write the saddest poem of all tonight.

    Write, for instance: “The night is full of stars,
    and the stars, blue, shiver in the distance.”

    The night wind whirls in the sky and sings.

    I can write the saddest poem of all tonight.
    I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.

    On nights like this, I held her in my arms.
    I kissed her so many times under the infinite sky.

    She loved me, sometimes I loved her.
    How could I not have loved her large, still eyes?

    I can write the saddest poem of all tonight.
    To think I don’t have her. To feel that I’ve lost her.

    To hear the immense night, more immense without her.
    And the poem falls to the soul as dew to grass.

    What does it matter that my love couldn’t keep her.
    The night is full of stars and she is not with me.

    That’s all. Far away, someone sings. Far away.
    My soul is lost without her.

    As if to bring her near, my eyes search for her.
    My heart searches for her and she is not with me.

    The same night that whitens the same trees.
    We, we who were, we are the same no longer.

    I no longer love her, true, but how much I loved her.
    My voice searched the wind to touch her ear.

    Someone else’s. She will be someone else’s. As she once
    belonged to my kisses.
    Her voice, her light body. Her infinite eyes.

    I no longer love her, true, but perhaps I love her.
    Love is so short and oblivion so long.

    Because on nights like this I held her in my arms,
    my soul is lost without her.

    Although this may be the last pain she causes me,
    and this may be the last poem I write for her.

    I Like For You To Be Still

    I like for you to be still
    It is as though you are absent
    And you hear me from far away
    And my voice does not touch you
    It seems as though your eyes had flown away
    And it seems that a kiss had sealed your mouth
    As all things are filled with my soul
    You emerge from the things
    Filled with my soul
    You are like my soul
    A butterfly of dream
    And you are like the word: Melancholy

    I like for you to be still
    And you seem far away
    It sounds as though you are lamentingo
    A butterfly cooing like a dove
    And you hear me from far away
    And my voice does not reach you
    Let me come to be still in your silence
    And let me talk to you with your silence
    That is bright as a lamp
    Simple, as a ring
    You are like the night
    With its stillness and constellations
    Your silence is that of a star
    As remote and candid

    I like for you to be still
    It is as though you are absent
    Distant and full of sorrow
    So you would’ve died
    One word then, One smile is enough
    And I’m happy;
    Happy that it’s not true

    -Pablo Neruda
    (July 12, 1904 – September 23, 1973)
    Pablo Neruda was the pen name and, later, legal name of the Chilean writer and politician Neftalí Ricardo Reyes Basoalto.With his works translated into many languages, poet and politician Pablo Neruda is considered one of the greatest and most influential poets of the 20th century.Neruda was accomplished in a variety of styles ranging from erotically charged love poems like his collection Twenty Poems of love and a Song of Despair, surrealist poems, historical epics, and overtly political manifestos. In 1971 Neruda won the Nobel Prize for Literature. Laced with mysticism, despair and yet an intenal peace , his poems leave an impressionable imprint on mind.

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