Thursday, August 04, 2005

Tonight I Can Write

by Pablo Neruda, translated by W.S. Merwin


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

3 Comments:

Blogger Åñèè§å said...

love is such a crazy thing....but how could she have only loved him sometimes??? i mean if u love someone...y only sometimes...*sigh* *confused*

8:56 PM  
Blogger willowtree said...

How? How could someone believe that there is no God after reading a poem like that?

I havent been able to understand how one can reason that a human being can do that with words- all by himself. Are there really people who believe that someone can be "taught" how to write like that?

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


Just wonderful. I feel it is true.

Neruda seems to like balance. In another sonnet I read this morning it began: You must know that I do not love and that I love you,
because everything alive has its two sides;
a word is one wing of the silence,
fire has its cold half.


I dont think Ive read enough Neruda, he's a poet I visit once or twice a year. I always get frustrated because I wish I could read Spanish better, I can only imagine what the poems "feel" like in Spanish.

I have my own theory on what the sometimes means, but that would be as long as the poem!

It's great you posted this.

9:43 PM  
Blogger Frank said...

I have a feeling that "sometimes" is just another way of saying "always" for some people...

Isn't that poem amazing? His ability to convey those feelings so truthfully, it does seem only possible with the help from the divine. Maybe that's what love is, though, a touch from the divine, a connection with the mysterious, and the ineffable...

1:22 PM  

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