Thursday, 19 March 2015


“Love is so short, forgetting is so long.” ― Pablo Neruda

If You Forget Me

I want you to know
one thing.

You know how this is:
if I look
at the crystal moon, at the red branch
of the slow autumn at my window,
if I touch
near the fire
the impalpable ash
or the wrinkled body of the log,
everything carries me to you,
as if everything that exists,
aromas, light, metals,
were little boats
that sail
toward those isles of yours that wait for me.

Well, now,
if little by little you stop loving me
I shall stop loving you little by little.

If suddenly
you forget me
do not look for me,
for I shall already have forgotten you.

If you think it long and mad,
the wind of banners
that passes through my life,
and you decide
to leave me at the shore
of the heart where I have roots,
that on that day,
at that hour,
I shall lift my arms
and my roots will set off
to seek another land.

if each day,
each hour,
you feel that you are destined for me
with implacable sweetness,
if each day a flower
climbs up to your lips to seek me,
ah my love, ah my own,
in me all that fire is repeated,
in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten,
my love feeds on your love, beloved,
and as long as you live it will be in your arms
without leaving mine.
Pablo Neruda

Pablo Neruda was born on July 12, 1904, in Parral, Chile and died on September 23, 1973, in Santiago. His real name was Neftalí Ricardo Reyes Basoalto and he was a Chilean poet, diplomat, and politician who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971. He was perhaps the most important Latin American poet of the 20th century.

Neruda's body of poetry is rich and varied, but has developed along four main directions,. His love poetry, such as the youthful Twenty Love Poems and the mature Los versos del Capitán (1952; The Captain's Verses), is tender, melancholy, sensuous, and passionate. In “material” poetry, such as Residencia en la tierra, loneliness and depression immerse the author in a subterranean world of dark, demonic forces. His epic poetry is best represented by Canto general, which is an attempt in the style of Whitman at reinterpreting the past and present of Latin America and the struggle for freedom. And finally there is Neruda's poetry of common, everyday objects, animals, and plants, as in Odas elementales.

Pablo Neruda continued to write prodigiously almost until his death (the collection of his complete works, which is continually being republished, filled 459 pages in 1951; by 1968 it amounted to 3,237 pages, in two volumes), rising in the ranks of 20th century poets. He also received numerous prestigious awards, including the International Peace Prize in 1950, the Lenin Peace Prize and the Stalin Peace Prize in 1953, and the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971. Neruda died just two years after receiving his Nobel Prize on September 23, 1973, in Santiago, Chile.

I Will Return

Some time, man or woman, traveller,
Afterwards, when I no longer live,
Look here, look for me here,
Between stone and ocean,
In the light storming
In the foam.
Look here, look for me here,
For here is where I’ll come, saying nothing,
With no voice, no mouth, pure,
Here I will return to be the movement
Of the water,
Of its wild heart,
Here I will be both lost and found:
Here I will be perhaps, both stone and silence.

                                                Pablo Neruda (1904-1973)

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