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

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For Example: love, art, fashion, friendship and etc.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.

Write, for example,'The night is shattered
and the blue stars 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, and 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 shattered 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 searches for her as though to go to her.
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. Like my kisses before.
Her voide. Her bright body. Her inifinite 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 sould 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.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003


Read poems about / on: sometimes, lost, wind, night, sky, pain, love, kiss, star, tree

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

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  • Amarnath Mukhopadhyay (7/25/2013 5:58:00 AM)

    One of the exceptional love poems I've ever read. May kindly arrange for rectification of few printing mistakes e.g. 'voide' and 'inifinite' [in 26th line] and 'sould' [in 30th line] for blemish-less future reading. The replacements would be 'voice', 'infinite' and 'soul' respectively.

    14 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • Paul Norris (11/6/2012 6:00:00 AM)

    The only poem that has reduced me to tears. Quite amazing

  • Sun Zoo (10/11/2012 1:07:00 PM)

    Also I would like to bring to the admin's attention that there are many mistakes in this version, for example the original says: the night is starry (not shattered) . Could you kindly replace this with the correct version? Thank you.

  • Sun Zoo (9/9/2012 5:05:00 PM)

    I generally do not like romantic poetry, but somehow nothing seems to compare to the depth of feeling in Pablo Neruda's verses, even though they are translated (I'm sure it's even better in its original version) . They crawl under your skin and reach your heart, spreading goose bumps all over and move you to tears. This one especially speaks to the heart broken... because really, 'Love is so short, forgetting is so long'.

  • Chu Jia Sing (8/2/2012 6:25:00 AM)

    Such beautiful and tragic poem. :) The emptiness and his desperation of forgetting her really tugs at people's heart strings, even after generations.

  • Nevyanna Posh (11/12/2011 2:25:00 PM)

    He's definitely the biggest poet ever. I don't know this is the first poem that made me cry...

  • Bruce Sherratt (5/22/2010 8:59:00 PM)

    First read this poem several decades ago, when I was young.
    It uses 'love' the way we use a line to hang our laundry out to dry.
    It will always be a great poem because, like myths and eternal symbols, it expresses very clearly powerfully and poetically the absolute hopelessness of human life.
    Neruda is like that other great Chilean artist, Matta the painter. Both grab large chunks of reality and serve them up uncompromisingly.

  • Kaushik Ghosh (2/16/2010 8:00:00 AM)

    'Love is so short, forgetting is so long.'- Extraordinary, amazing, mind blowing lines. Now I know when they say that poets are philosophers as well.

  • Rahul Avasthi (1/20/2010 12:20:00 PM)

    I have read it for the first time..and I am moved like i never was...watching my feelings put into words...I miss 'us' Shail...will always do...

  • Len Hamo (1/8/2010 8:50:00 AM)

    love is so short, forgetting is so long.
    i couldn't agree more.

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