Saturday, December 1, 2007

Without Further Ado, I Give You Pablo Neruda

Tonight I Can Write

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.

Write, for example, "The night is starry
and the stars are blue and shiver in the distance."

The night wind revolves in the sky and sings.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.

Through nights like this one I held her in my arms.
I kissed her again and again under the endless sky.

She loved me, sometimes I loved her too.
How could one not have loved her great still eyes.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her.

To hear the immense night, still more immense without her.
And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture.

What does it matter that my love could not keep her.
The night is starry and she is not with me.

This is all. In the distance someone is singing. In the distance.
My soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

My sight tries to find her as though to bring her closer.
My heart looks for her, and she is not with me.

The same night whitening the same trees.
We, of that time, are no longer the same.

I no longer love her, that's certain, but how I loved her.
My voice tried to find the wind to touch her hearing.

Another's. She will be another's. As she was before my kisses.
Her voice, her bright body. Her infinite eyes.

I no longer love her, that's certain, but maybe I love her.
Love is so short, forgetting is so long.

Because through nights like this one I held her in my arms
my soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

Though this be the last pain that she makes me suffer
and these the last verses that I write for her.

by Pablo Neruda
From I Explain a Few Things: Selected Poems, copyright 2007.

A bonus: listen to the soundtrack of the motion picture "The Postman (Il Postino)" to hear various works of Pablo Neruda read by familiar voices, including Andy Garcia (reciting the poem above), Glenn Close, William Dafoe, Samuel L. Jackson, Miranda Richardson and Sting. It's officially on my Christmas list!

1 comment:

Jaclyn said...

Sigh. Pablo certainly does know how to "Explain a few things," doesn't he? Amazingly put. This is another one of my favorites of his:

Thank you for sharing it. Have you seen this one? It’s my favorite, from the same collection by Pablo Neruda.

I don ’t love you as if you were a rose of salt, topaz,
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:
I love you as one loves certain obscure things,
secretly, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that doesn’t bloom but carries
the light of those flowers, hidden, within itself,
and thanks to your love the tight aroma that arose
from the earth lives dimly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or
from where
I love you directly without problems or pride:
I love you like this because I don’t know any other way
to love,

except in this form in which I am not nor are you,
so close that your hand upon my chest is mine,
so close that your eyes close with my dreams.

I found it at redpoppy.net.

paz, poesia, y amor
-jaclyn