Pablo Neruda

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

If You Forget Me - Poem by Pablo Neruda

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.


Comments about If You Forget Me by Pablo Neruda

  • Rookie - 126 Points Halla ingimars (4/20/2015 3:17:00 PM)

    So Wonderful and full f love and adventures (Report) Reply

    3 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Gold Star - 7,770 Points Frank Avon (4/18/2015 8:37:00 PM)

    If you forget me, I'll forget you. If you stop loving me, I will have already stopped loving you. That's Neruda all right. Love is love - for a while.380 comments, and all I've read so far said, Right on! That's the best! ' Hardly what love has been for me.

    Love is not love
    Which alters when it alteration finds,
    Or bends with the remover to remove:
    O no; it is an ever-fixed mark,
    That looks on tempests, and is never shaken;
    It is the star to every wandering bark,
    Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.

    Shakespeare, from Sonnet 116

    For a brief account of Neruda's one true love, see http: //insatiablebooksluts.com/2013/04/27/meet-matilde-the-love-muse-of-pablo-neruda/

    Here's one quote: '[Neruda and Matilde Urrutria] met in 1946. Neruda and his second wife, Delia, were attending a concert in Santiago; Matilde caught his eye immediately with her fiery red hair. We don’t generally think of someone who can love so deeply and write about it so beautifully as being a bit of a scoundrel, but Neruda was; he hired her in 1949 to be his nurse while they began their illicit affair under Delia’s nose. He and Matilde eventually had a home together and had been “symbolically” married while Delia was still... well, I was going to say “actually” married to Neruda, but from what I understand, their marriage wasn’t completely legally recognized because of Neruda’s first wife. This wasn’t the first time Neruda had taken a new lover while still married, it seems....

    'Delia left Neruda permanently in 1955; Matilde transformed from a mistress living in the shadows to Neruda’s strong and loving wife. She left everything in her life to be with Neruda....

    'Matilde was Neruda’s last wife and fiercest protector. She forgave him his trespasses, and when she couldn’t, she sought only small revenges; instead of leaving him when he had an affair with her niece, she voted against his candidate in a major political election.'

    So, Pablo could well have written, 'my love feeds on your love, beloved, ' but I'll have my snacks too from time to time. As long as you remain faithful to me, you will be my entree; never mind the side dishes I pick up along the way. 'Love is not love....' (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Abednico Gaoipelelwe (4/3/2015 4:15:00 AM)

    dat it is (Report) Reply

  • Veteran Poet - 1,977 Points Bernard Snyder (3/30/2015 3:34:00 PM)

    I love this poem. I'm surprised I hadn't read his until now. Very well fits into one of my favorites of all time! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 365 Points p.a. noushad (3/23/2015 2:23:00 AM)

    nice, i like your verses very much. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 0 Points iheartseamusheaney Steed (3/21/2015 6:06:00 PM)

    Love this (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 122 Points Benjamin Michael Clark (2/27/2015 12:41:00 PM)

    This is one of my favorite poems. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 10 Points Carol Nthenya (2/5/2015 10:23:00 PM)

    So profound. So true. (Report) Reply

    Freshman - 651 Points Mehmet Turgut (2/26/2015 2:53:00 AM)

    yes yes

  • Rookie - 463 Points Just As i Am As is i Was (1/8/2015 11:18:00 AM)

    I love the words spoken. You get what you give.if give me your all then surely you shall recieve all (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 164 Points Musa Ndhlovu (12/25/2014 11:50:00 AM)

    Nailed it.. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 101 Points Ali Baba (11/20/2014 10:50:00 AM)

    I want you to KNOW.. (Report) Reply

  • Gold Star - 17,357 Points Mohammad Skati (11/15/2014 4:48:00 PM)

    Love waves to all of us.... I loved it. (Report) Reply

  • Veteran Poet - 1,977 Points Bernard Snyder (10/31/2014 1:24:00 PM)

    This might be the sweetest poem I've ever heard. Nice job, sir! (Report) Reply

    Rookie - 101 Points Ali Baba (11/20/2014 10:49:00 AM)

    yes you are right

  • Gold Star - 12,814 Points Ramesh Rai (10/25/2014 2:33:00 AM)

    Love is the spirit of life. Hats off Sir. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 441 Points Gexg Lalnuna (10/18/2014 12:31:00 AM)

    My favourite poem: -D.I love the way Pablo thinks and the way he penned it down. (Report) Reply

  • Veteran Poet - 1,397 Points Sagnik Chakraborty (10/11/2014 9:42:00 AM)

    Love feeds on love, so true. Neruda's poems are always full of feeling and they will move you a lot. Although reading him in original Spanish is a much more complete experience. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 264 Points Melissa Furey (9/30/2014 1:25:00 PM)

    I really like this poem its one of my favourites (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 34 Points Best Of Istanbul (9/25/2014 8:36:00 AM)

    i will newer forget you. i like this poem. (Report) Reply

  • Veteran Poet - 1,888 Points Sallam Yassin (9/20/2014 3:48:00 AM)

    Incredibly it is vast in sweetness of emotion (Report) Reply

  • Bronze Star - 2,953 Points Abekah Emmanuel (9/19/2014 12:41:00 PM)

    Love- the magic that brings two strangers to think alike. Amazing poem! (Report) Reply

Read all 380 comments »




What do you think this poem is about?

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



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

Poem Edited: Thursday, August 7, 2014


[Hata Bildir]