Chilean Poet and Diplomat, Awarded Nobel Prize for Literature
Pablo Neruda, pen name for Neftalí Ricardo Reyes Basoalto
Chilean Poet and Diplomat, Awarded Nobel Prize for Literature
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, remember that on that day, at that hour, I shall lift my arms and my roots will set off to seek another land. But 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.
It happens that I am tired of being a man.
Let me start by saying, on the days and years of my childhood, my only memorable character was the rain.
Maybe you'll remember that razor-faced man who slipped out from the dark like a blade and -- before we realized -- knew what was there: he saw the smoke and concluded fire. The pallid woman with black hair rose like a fish from the abyss, and the two of them built up a contraption, armed to the teeth, against love. Man and woman, they felled mountains and gardens, they went down to the river, they scaled the walls, they hoisted their atrocious artillery up the hill. Then love knew it was called love. And when I lifted my eyes to your name, suddenly your heart showed me my way.
Now, on the road to freedom, I was pausing for a moment near Temuco and could hear the voice of the water that had taught me to sing.
Our love was born outside the walls, in the wind, in the night, in the earth, and that's why the clay and the flower, the mud and the roots know your name.
So I wait for you like a lonely house till you will see me again and live in me. Till then my windows ache.
The books that help you most are those which make you think that most. The hardest way of learning is that of easy reading; but a great book that comes from a great thinker is a ship of thought, deep freighted with truth and beauty.
The truth is that even if some or many consider me to be a sectarian, barred from taking a place at the common table of friendship and responsibility, I do not wish to defend myself, for I believe that neither accusation nor defense is among the tasks of the poet. When all is said, there is no individual poet who administers poetry, and if a poet sets himself up to accuse his fellows or if some other poet wastes his life in defending himself against reasonable or unreasonable charges, it is my conviction that only vanity can so mislead us. I consider the enemies of poetry to be found not among those who practice poetry or guard it but in mere lack of agreement in the poet. For this reason no poet has any considerable enemy other than his own incapacity to make himself understood by the most forgotten and exploited of his contemporaries, and this applies to all epochs and in all countries.
If you no longer live, if you my beloved, my love, if you have died, all the leaves will fall in my breast, it will rain in my soul night and day, the snow will burn my heart, I shall walk with frost and fire and death and snow, my feet will want to walk to where you are sleeping, but I shall live.
It is forbidden to forget that without you, this world would not be the same.
Let us pounce upon this red prey, let us tear life that passes throbbing and lift together our wild flight.
Mitt is the one who prefers black and white, and the points on the letters, instead of the squadron mysterious of emotions sweeping. Mitt is the one who does not turn the table, does not allow himself even for once in his life to escape from the tips logical... dead of fear that raises questions about topics that ignorant, and did not answer when asked about something he knows... dead from bypassing passion... not risk certainty for uncertainty in order to chase a dream.
O merry, merry, merry, like only dogs know how to be happy and nothing more, with an absolute shameless nature.
Our original guiding stars are struggle and hope. But there is no such thing as a lone struggle, no such thing as a lone hope. In every human being are combined the most distant epochs, passivity, mistakes, sufferings, the pressing urgencies of our own time, the pace of history. But what would have become of me if, for example, I had contributed in some way to the maintenance of the feudal past of the great American continent? How should I then have been able to raise my brow, illuminated by the honor which Sweden has conferred on me, if I had not been able to feel some pride in having taken part, even to a small extent, in the change which has now come over my country? It is necessary to look at the map of America, to place oneself before its splendid multiplicity, before the cosmic generosity of the wide places which surround us, in order to understand why many writers refuse to share the dishonor and plundering of the past, of all that which dark gods have taken away from the American peoples.
So many days, oh so many days seeing you so tangible and so close, how do I pay, with what do I pay? The bloodthirsty spring has awakened in the woods. The foxes start from their earths, the serpents drink the dew, and I go with you in the leaves between the pines and the silence, asking myself how and when I will have to pay for my luck. Of everything I have seen, it's you I want to go on seeing: of everything I've touched, it's your flesh I want to go on touching. I love your orange laughter. I am moved by the sight of you sleeping. What am I to do, love, loved one? I don't know how others love or how people loved in the past. I live, watching you, loving you. Being in love is my nature. You please me more each afternoon. Where is she? I keep on asking if your eyes disappear. How long she's taking! I think, and I'm hurt. I feel poor, foolish and sad, and you arrive and you are lightning glancing off the peach trees. That's why I love you and yet not why. There are so many reasons, and yet so few, for love has to be so, involving and general, particular and terrifying, joyful and grieving, flowering like the stars, and measureless as a kiss. That's why I love you and yet not why. There are so many reasons, and yet so few, for love has to be so, involving and general, particular and terrifying, joyful and grieving, flowering like the stars, and measureless as a kiss.
The charter for the great thief, prison for stealing a loaf.
The verb is origin and poured life is blood, blood is expressing its substance and willing and development.
If you should ask me where I've been all this time I have to say "Things happen." I have to dwell on stones darkening the earth, on the river ruined in its own duration: I know nothing save things the birds have lost, the sea I left behind, or my sister crying. Why this abundance of places? Why does day lock with day? Why the dark night swilling round in our mouths? And why the dead?
It is not so much light that falls over the world extended by your body its suffocating snow, as brightness, pouring itself out of you, as if you were burning inside. Under your skin the moon is alive.
Like a jar you housed infinite tenderness and the infinite tenderness shattered you like a jar.
My duty moves along with my song: I am I am not: that is my destiny. I exist not if I do not attend to the pain of those who suffer: they are my pains. For I cannot be without existing for all, for all who are silent and oppressed, I come from the people and I sing for them: my poetry is song and punishment.
Of all fires, love is the only inexhaustible one.
Over your breasts of motionless current, over your legs of firmness and water, over the permanence and the pride of your naked hair I want to be, my love, now that the tears are thrown into the raucous baskets where they accumulate, I want to be, my love, alone with a syllable of mangled silver, alone with a tip of your breast of snow.
So that you will hear me my words sometimes grow thin as the tracks of the gulls on the beaches. Necklace, drunken bell for your hands smooth as grapes. And I watch my words from a long way off. They are more yours than mine. They climb on my old suffering like ivy. It climbs the same way on damp walls. You are to blame for this cruel sport. They are fleeing from my dark lair. You fill everything, you fill everything. Before you they peopled the solitude that you occupy, and they are more used to my sadness than you are. Now I want them to say what I want to say to you to make you hear as I want you to hear me. The wind of anguish still hauls on them as usual. Sometimes hurricanes of dreams still knock them over. You listen to other voices in my painful voice .Lament of old mouths, blood of old supplications. Love me, companion. Don't forsake me. Follow me. Follow me, companion, on this wave of anguish. But my words become stained with your love. You occupy everything, you occupy everything. I am making them into an endless necklace for your white hands, smooth as grapes.