To be read in the dark, by the first light of morning.

Pablo Neruda: Tonight I can write the saddest lines

Puedo escribir los versos más tristes esta noche.

Escribir, por ejemplo: “La noche está estrellada,
y tiritan, azules, los astros, a lo lejos.”

El viento de la noche gira en el cielo y canta.

Puedo escribir los versos más tristes esta noche.
Yo la quise, y a veces ella también me quiso.

En las noches como esta la tuve entre mis brazos.
La besé tantas veces bajo el cielo infinito.

Ella me quiso, a veces yo también la quería.
Cómo no haber amado sus grandes ojos fijos.

Puedo escribir los versos más tristes esta noche.
Pensar que no la tengo. Sentir que la he perdido.

Oir la noche inmensa, más inmensa sin ella.
Y el verso cae al alma como al pasto el rocío.

Qué importa que mi amor no pudiera guardarla.
La noche esta estrellada y ella no está conmigo.

Eso es todo. A lo lejos alguien canta. A lo lejos.
Mi alma no se contenta con haberla perdido.

Como para acercarla mi mirada la busca.
Mi corazón la busca, y ella no está conmigo.

La misma noche que hace blanquear los mismos árboles.
Nosotros, los de entonces, ya no somos los mismos.

Ya no la quiero, es cierto, pero cuánto la quise.
Mi voz buscaba el viento para tocar su oído.

De otro. Será de otro. Como antes de mis besos.
Su voz, su cuerpo claro. Sus ojos infinitos.

Ya no la quiero, es cierto, pero tal vez la quiero.
Es tan corto el amor, y es tan largo el olvido.

Porque en noches como esta la tuve entre mis brazos,
mi alma no se contenta con haberla perdido.

Aunque este sea el ultimo dolor que ella me causa,
y estos sean los ultimos versos que yo le escribo.

~|~

Tonight I can write the saddest lines,

can write, for example: “The night is starry
and the stars in the distance are shivering and blue.”

The night wind wheels in the sky, singing.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.

On nights like this one I held her in my arms,
kissing her over and over beneath the endless sky.

She loved me, and sometimes I loved her too.
How could one not have loved her great still eyes?

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
To think I do not have her, to feel that I have lost her,

to hear the immense night immenser still without her.
The verse falls to the soul like dew to the grass.

What does it matter that my love could not keep her?
The night is starry and she is not with me.

That’s all. In the distance someone is singing, in the distance.
My soul is not at peace, having lost her.

My eyes search for her, as if to bring her closer.
My heart seeks her out, but she is not with me.

The same night is whitening the same trees,
but we are no longer the same people we were.

I no longer love her, true, but how I loved her!
My voice searched the wind that it might touch her ear.

Someone else’s, she’ll be someone else’s, as she was before my kisses.
Her voice, her bright body, and her infinite eyes.

I no longer love her, true. Then again maybe I do.
Love is so short, and forgetting is so long.

Because on nights like this one I held her in my arms,
my soul is not at peace, having lost her,

even though this will be the last pain she gives me,
and these the last verses that I will write for her.

One Response to Pablo Neruda: Tonight I can write the saddest lines

  1. Laura Vasquez says:

    I honestly enjoyed reading Twenty Love Poems and A Song of Despair better even if there is a resemblance from Tonight I Can Write the Saddest Lines. The tone was more consistent. His thoughts were very well described and put together. His selection on word usage made the poem sound and feel like it was real because I felt the connection. He was feeling regret “my soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.” I was reading the two poems outside my house at night the cold wind was hitting me and when I read the first poem I felt like I was him, the character in the poem. I started to feel sadness and even past memories. My emotions matched with his words that he had written in the poem. I understood him and how he felt. I read the other poem and I felt unattached, maybe it was the tone and the choice of his words but it didn’t feel the same. I just didn’t feel that rhythm flow like when I read the other poem.

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