Pablo Neruda’s Lost #Love (Poem 20) #ValentinesDay

I hold Your Heart - You hold my Heart (Credit: Google images)

Do you speak Spanish? You don’t? Wonderful. You have no choice but to close your eyes, and feel the most romantic poetry in the world, Poem 20, as it enters your mind, your heart, and your soul, in the voice of Gidon Kremer, from his album, “Hommage a Piazzolla”…

The night is yours…enjoy the pleasure of passionate poetry…spoken divinely, for you, and your loved one..alone…

Close your eyes, and be rewarded with the sensuality of Pablo Neruda
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 ésta 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.

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

Qué importa que mi amor no pudiera guardarla.
La noche está 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.

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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 ésta la tuve entre mis brazos,
mi alma no se contenta con haberla perdido.

Aunque éste sea el último dolor que ella me causa,
y éstos sean los últimos versos que yo le escribo.

About profesorbaker

Thomas Baker is the Past-President of TESOL Chile (2010-2011). He enjoys writing about a wide variety of topics. The source and inspiration for his writing comes from his family.
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4 Responses to Pablo Neruda’s Lost #Love (Poem 20) #ValentinesDay

  1. Thomas,

    You reminded me of a long forgotten conversation I had with Josef Skvorecky – a writer I consider one of the greatest of this century.

    I had the pleasure of living not far from him and visiting from time to time. One time, Neruda’s name came up. He was boiling mad. He could never forgive how Neruda was a great Stalinist, a communist stalwart, ready to forsake millions to death, if be, for the sake of the revolution.

    I often think of this conversation – how he rallied against the idealists and romantics who did not value the man who would fart or cuss – made them into mere objects for their art. I keep remembering Mayakovsky’s image of Stalin stroking his beloved cats and listening to Wagner while signing 5,000 off to the gulag.

    Neruda could write but he lacked what a true writer has – what true love has. A value of something beyond art and words. A value for the muck of life itself….

    Sorry but just had to say that, ever so unsensually……. Read some Skvorecky if you ever get a chance, especially his Engineer of human souls.



  2. Hi David,

    I have read your words, your valuable words.
    They are words spoken from within
    If given to flight, then needed is only birds
    And to me they arrive, with a smile, and a grin,
    I have read your words, your valuable words…

    Why do I amswer you by turning to words in a poetic usage? Maybe, because I know, that words so spoken, are agreeable to the human spirit, for humans, we are made to appreciate beauty, in all its forms.

    So I claim, for in my case, beauty stops me in my tracks, takes my breath away, makes my heart forget to beat and my mind fail in guiding my thought.

    Even now, I find it hard to resist breaking into a smile myself, thinking of a bird, that to me, words bring, with a smile, and a grin.

    Surely, I would smile, for a little while, in awe, of a bird, bringing me, a word…

    Neruda, like any man, no, like any human, was a complicated man.

    To say one understands Neruda, or any human, is almost like saying one understands me, Tom Baker. Having said that, I must admit, there are moments, when my wife looks at me, and I look at her, and she knows, that I know, that we both know, the exact thought in the mind of the other…

    Neither she nor I would make that claim for any other person on Earth, but for each other, we make that claim.

    To conclude, your position is as valid as mine, David, no more, no less so. Where the poetry of Neruda moves me, it moves you not, and we both, can surely allow for the rightness and the righteousness in the views of the other.

    To be clear, I fully respect your views, and would be willing to defend them now, tomorrow, any day or any time. At the same time, you will allow me to gently remain true to my views.

    You see, Neruda speaks to me, his words are the words that find resonance with something quite deep within me, and I honor that, for it is simply, being true to myself.

    Surely, David, this is what you also do, be true to David? In that case, we may both agree to have separate viewpoints. I would not begrudge you yours, and neither you mine.

    Again, thank you for this extraordinary opportunity to interact with you on such an aesthetic topic, the topic of poetry and poets, of style and content, of the superficial and of the profound.

    It has been quite a unique exchange.

    Thank you, kindly, David.

    Best regards,


  3. David says:

    Oh, I agree Neruda’s poetry is high rate! But I also think that there is a valid case of him using his world fame to prop up a lot of regimes that sent millions to slaughter. That’s all I’m saying in a nutshell and I could feel at that time, Skvorecky’s intense anger (unusual for the man). An anger I guess coming because his dedication to the craft as a writer and also his own suffering under the hands of the communists at the time Neruda was championing Stalinism.

    I remember reading an interesting interview with Auden years ago. And he got quite angry when asked a political question. He said something like – “why do people think poets or writers should know anything more about politics than the butcher or a cook?” He didn’t understand how or why we go to writers for practical advice on how to live in this world. I really don’t either. They are just one of many authorities, me thinks.

    I don’t devalue Neruda’s power and beauty when it comes to lyricism. However, I do think that when he entered politics, with opinions – he is open game for criticism. Even now in the grave. But I’d be interested to know the average Chilean’s view about Neruda’s politics (not really his poetry which is for sure, of world acclaim).

    I agree – a human being is a slippery thing! We can never know someone. Ted Bundy’s famous last words to his mother – who never understood how he could do such horrible things – “There is always something hidden.”



  4. Thbeth says:

    Muito linda poesia, ! obrigado


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