Pablo Neruda

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

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

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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. (Report) Reply

  • 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. (Report) Reply

  • 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'. (Report) Reply

  • 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. (Report) Reply

  • 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... (Report) Reply

  • 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. (Report) Reply

  • 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. (Report) Reply

  • 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... (Report) Reply

  • R M (12/1/2009 4:51:00 PM)

    Claudia, I miss you tonight and I will always love you (Report) Reply

  • Shiela Marie Anunciacion (11/9/2009 1:19:00 PM)

    We, my group and I, have used this poem as the theme of our music video...
    It turned out great and painful...
    Great because we'd gotten an excellent grade..
    And, painful because the whole poem is about someone who loved a person who will be for someone else...

    T_T (Report) Reply

  • Shiela Marie Anunciacion (11/9/2009 1:13:00 PM)

    I first heard this read in a radio station...
    I fell in love with this piece of work...
    I cried and that was my reaction...
    Because I think the guy just wanted for their love to work...
    I know how hard it is to write...
    When your heart is broken apart...
    Especially in a blank paper so white...
    When you know that the one you love whom you are apart...
    Is residing in the arms of another...
    Which is supposed to be your arms and shoulder...
    Thus, if you can write the saddest lines..
    You must've truly loved her all this times...

    Shiela Marie Anunciacion (Original) (Report) Reply

  • Melissa Rodriguez (10/26/2009 10:41:00 PM)

    Es 'She loved me, and sometimes I loved her too.'
    me fascina como es directo con lo que trata de decir que es facil identificarse con el poema. (Report) Reply

  • Patricia Murphy (6/28/2009 8:14:00 AM)

    This has been a favorite for a long while..I would also ask that the words be correct. Anoters She will be anothers...Her Voice (Report) Reply

  • Hannah Hampson (11/2/2008 11:34:00 AM)

    I love this poem, and reading it's a very inspiring poem to me. Could I just ask that whoever put it up is careful with their typing, 'soul' is spelt 'sould'. I know it's picky, but please it's something I would really appreciate. Cheers. (Report) Reply

  • Mimzy Sue (10/9/2008 12:55:00 AM)

    'I no longer love her, that's certain, but maybe I love her.
    Love is so short, forgetting is so long', this is a very sad and touching poem i've ever read for a very very long time, it'l be in my fav. poem list,10+++++ (Report) Reply

  • Li Away (2/4/2008 3:32:00 PM)

    ' I no longer love her, that's certain, but how I loved her'

    you couldn't possibly be more beautiful Pablo

    it's heartbreaking indeed to feel again the intensity of loss (Report) Reply

  • Fabian Montes (1/27/2008 2:12:00 AM)

    Maestro Neruda hablas del corazon, Tonight I am those saddest lines you write, as my wife is slowly divorcing me today........... O how it hurts.............. O how it hurts............. You speak through your poetry to us forever and ever gracias.. Maestro (Report) Reply

Read all 29 comments »

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