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(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973 / Parral / Chile)

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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.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003


Read poems about / on: autumn, fire, flower, remember, moon, red, wind, light, love

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Comments about this poem (Canto XII from The Heights of Macchu Picchu by Pablo Neruda )

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  • Matthew Hardin (4/14/2014 2:07:00 PM)

    Wonderful poem. Incidentally, this poem was e-mailed to me through the Modern Poems function of PoemHunter the day after my girlfriend broke up with me. Oddly, it gave me strength to persevere, and it is now one of my favorite poems.

    2 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Gajanan Mishra (4/7/2014 9:48:00 AM)

    my love, my own, wonderful really.

  • Noctiluca Scintillans (3/31/2014 10:24:00 AM)

    Oh, i wonder
    what shall it turn out, if she is singimg the same song? ?

    who will hold onto and who will forget, first?

  • Jack Growden (3/28/2014 7:37:00 AM)

    Follow the link to my poem also titled If You Forget Me: http: //poemhunter.com/poem/if-you-forget-me-13/

  • Kepa Gadu (3/25/2014 4:25:00 PM)

    my best friend's sister-in-law makes $80 an hour on the internet. She has been unemployed for eight months but last month her paycheck was $19845 just working on the internet for a few hours. Get the facts http: //tr.im/4zzny

  • Satheesh Kumar (3/23/2014 8:16:00 PM)

    Very good poem of Pablo Neruda

  • Athul Jayaram (3/22/2014 1:00:00 PM)

    Truly brilliant work, I wish I could write like this oneday

  • David Ayo Olowoeyo (3/12/2014 5:21:00 PM)

    A splendid poem. Indeed i like the poem.

  • Damo Geka (3/8/2014 12:38:00 PM)

    My Uncle Christian got an awesome twelve month old Mercedes GL-Class GL63 AMG by working part-time online. blog link http: //www.mac22.com

  • Vi Nhat Thuy (3/3/2014 9:40:00 AM)

    I love this poem however unrealistically its meaning might be. Feelings of love can't be directed, controlled and dictated as one wishes. Nhat Thuy Vi

Read all 338 comments »

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