#1-2 Tonight I Can Write (The Saddest Lines), Translation: W. S. Merwin
1. Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.
2. 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.
3. Love is so short, forgetting is so long.
4. I want to do with you what spring does with the cherry trees.
5. Let us forget with generosity those who cannot love us.
6. To feel the love of people whom we love is a fire that feeds our life.
7. Then love knew it was called love. And when I lifted my eyes to your name, suddenly your heart showed me my way.
8. I love all things, not only the grand but the infinitely small: thimble, spurs, plates, flower vases.
9. Te amo como se aman ciertas cosa oscuras, secretamente, entre la sombra y el alma.
(I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret, between the shadow and the soul.)
Excerpt from Wikipedia: Pablo Neruda (July 12, 1904 – September 23, 1973) was the pen name and, later, legal name of the Chilean poet and politician Neftalí Ricardo Reyes Basoalto. He chose his pen name after Czech poet Jan Neruda.
Neruda wrote in a variety of styles such as erotically charged love poems as in his collection Twenty Poems of Love and a Song of Despair, surrealist poems, historical epics, and overtly political manifestos. In 1971 Neruda won the Nobel Prize for Literature. Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez once called him “the greatest poet of the 20th century in any language.” Neruda always wrote in green ink as it was his personal color of hope.
Sayings by Pablo Neruda
1. Someday, somewhere – anywhere, unfailingly, you’ll find yourself, and that, and only that, can be the happiest or bitterest hour of your life.
2. The books that help you most are those which make you think that most. The hardest way of learning is that of easy reading; but a great book that comes from a great thinker is a ship of thought, deep freighted with truth and beauty.
3. A child who does not play is not a child, but the man who doesn’t play has lost forever the child who lived in him and who he will miss terribly.
4. Laughter is the language of the soul.
5. You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming.
6. Peace goes into the making of a poem as flour goes into the making of bread.
7. I think it was very informative, but a lot still needs to be done.
8. my feet will want to walk to where you are sleeping but I shall go on living.
9. Everything is so alive, that I can be alive. Without moving I can see it all. In your life I see everything that lives.
10. Everything is ceremony in the wild garden of childhood.
Poems by Pablo Neruda
Of everything I have seen,
it’s you I want to go on seeing:
of everything I’ve touched,
it’s your flesh I want to go on touching.
I love your orange laughter.
I am moved by the sight of you sleeping.
What am I to do, love, loved one?
I don’t know how others love
or how people loved in the past.
I live, watching you, loving you.
Being in love is my nature.
Never an illness, nor the absence
of grandeur, no,
nothing is able to kill the best in us,
that kindness, dear sir, we are afflicted with:
beautiful is the flower of man, his conduct,
and every door opens on the beautiful truth
and never hides treacherous whispers.
I always gained something from making myself better,
better than I am, better than I was,
that most subtle citation:
to recover some lost petal
of the sadness I inherited:
to search once more for the light that sings
inside of me, the unwavering light.
Before I loved you, love, nothing was my own:
I wavered through the streets, among
Nothing mattered or had a name:
The world was made of air, which waited.
I knew rooms full of ashes,
Tunnels where the moon lived,
Rough warehouses that growled ‘get lost’,
Questions that insisted in the sand.
Everything was empty, dead, mute,
Fallen abandoned, and decayed:
Inconceivably alien, it all
Belonged to someone else – to no one:
Till your beauty and your poverty
Filled the autumn plentiful with gifts.
Love Sonnet XVII
I do not love you as if you were a salt rose, or topaz
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.
I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
So I love you because I know no other way
than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.