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

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Clenched Soul

We have lost even this twilight.
No one saw us this evening hand in hand
while the blue night dropped on the world.

I have seen from my window
the fiesta of sunset in the distant mountain tops.

Sometimes a piece of sun
burned like a coin in my hand.

I remembered you with my soul clenched
in that sadness of mine that you know.

Where were you then?
Who else was there?
Saying what?
Why will the whole of love come on me suddenly
when I am sad and feel you are far away?

The book fell that always closed at twilight
and my blue sweater rolled like a hurt dog at my feet.

Always, always you recede through the evenings
toward the twilight erasing statues.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003


Read poems about / on: sunset, dog, sometimes, sad, lost, sun, world, night, remember

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

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  • Alla Simone (6/27/2013 9:44:00 AM)

    'I remembered you with my soul clenched in that sadness of mine that you know.' That's my favorite line. Such intimacy of emotion is reflected in those words. Also, an intense rawness and pain are beautifully portrayed with your words throughout the poem. I enjoyed this very much. Thanks for sharing.

    3 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Godfrey Morris (6/27/2013 12:58:00 AM)

    An awesome poem. Great Poem.

  • Hayden Shreeve (6/27/2012 10:14:00 PM)

    Wow, a great poem by a great poet. His #1 status is well deserved

  • Allison Helman (6/27/2012 7:13:00 PM)

    This is a truly beautiful poem. I love the colors, the clarity and the simplicity though with some of the imagery, I feel my guitar would grasp the simpatico better than myself.

  • Ray Schreiber (6/27/2012 2:43:00 PM)

    Mixing the plain with the fanciful this poem paints the truth. Seemingly personal, yet it widely applies to all that sit alone at their windows.

  • Carlos Echeverria (6/27/2012 10:35:00 AM)

    I miss you and it hurts would suffice. But Neruda's soul is special, and he HAS TO tell the world.

  • Pranab K Chakraborty (6/27/2012 2:07:00 AM)

    Unique piece from Neruda. Thousand times it will vibrate again...We have lost even this twilight. Drumming, Drumming the beat loud through the conscious of 21st also.....Sometimes a piece of sun / burned like a coin in my hand....Lost the hands, lost the believe, lost the togetherness........Magnificently Neruda overwhelmed the reader at the point of the crossroad where day diminishes and stepping night closely. Twilight complex..... Literally, living time of the man metaphorically the day-time and night signals the finishing journey of a life. Naturally man bends to find out other existence of another super-entity whom we do try to explain as Almighty..... Simply the common thought after reading the piece may be considered as lost love. Partially it is truth and much global idea of acceptance. But according to poem, generally when the feeling of pain appears just at the definite point of time, twilight, we have to throw light on the universal cry of human soul. Longing for eternity....Smart expression of thirst and non-satiety as fits with the style of legendary Neruda....Nice put again by PH.....................Lastly yet utter once again.......always you recede through the evenings / toward the twilight erasing statues.

    Pranab k c

  • Jenna Thomas (11/17/2010 7:55:00 PM)

    I can feel the needing in these words. The confusion of what the other person is doing. It brings many emotions to me. Thank you for sharing it

  • Maxim Muyu (8/26/2010 9:52:00 AM)

    nice to read such a lovely poem, I felt it was great and nice to read it too.

  • cynthia from the tower (2/9/2010 4:46:00 PM)

    why is it that we are always reminded of 'them' as soon as the sun goes down?

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