Guest poem sent in by Suchitra
(Poem #605) Saddest Poem
I can write the saddest poem of all tonight. Write, for instance: "The night is full of stars, and the stars, blue, shiver in the distance." The night wind whirls in the sky and sings. I can write the saddest poem of all tonight. I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too. On nights like this, I held her in my arms. I kissed her so many times under the infinite sky. She loved me, sometimes I loved her. How could I not have loved her large, still eyes? I can write the saddest poem of all tonight. To think I don't have her. To feel that I've lost her. To hear the immense night, more immense without her. And the poem falls to the soul as dew to grass. What does it matter that my love couldn't keep her. The night is full of stars and she is not with me. That's all. Far away, someone sings. Far away. My soul is lost without her. As if to bring her near, my eyes search for her. My heart searches for her and she is not with me. The same night that whitens the same trees. We, we who were, we are the same no longer. I no longer love her, true, but how much I loved her. My voice searched the wind to touch her ear. Someone else's. She will be someone else's. As she once belonged to my kisses. Her voice, her light body. Her infinite eyes. I no longer love her, true, but perhaps I love her. Love is so short and oblivion so long. Because on nights like this I held her in my arms, my soul is lost without her. Although this may be the last pain she causes me, and this may be the last poem I write for her.
I've always liked sad poems since they are almost always beautiful. But the first time I was moved to tears was by this poem that I stumbled across on the internet. I think the poem is both simple and powerful. I also like the poet's admission of perhaps, trying to write a sad poem. He repeats this a few times initially - you expect him to keep this up - but then his description of his love, and his emotion seems to overtake him. I also like the poem's candid approach to love. It is a poet's misery over the loss of the feeling of love, rather than of his lover - as in the lines "I no longer love her true, but how much I loved her". Also small touches of irony like "She loved me, sometimes I loved her". But best of all, I love the last line (the saddest line of all?) - for (I imagine) what can be worse for a romantic poet than to stop writing about his lost love? [Bio] Pablo Neruda (1904-1973) - Original name Neftalí Ricardo Reyes Basoalto. Winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971 "for a poetry that with the action of an elemental force brings alive a continent's destiny and dreams". Chilean poet, diplomat, and Marxist, Neruda is the most widely read of the Spanish American poets. Neruda first gained international fame in 1924 as an writer with VEINTE POEMAS DE AMOR Y UNA CANCÍON, which is his most widely read work. From the 1940s his works reflected the political struggle of peasants and workers and socio-historical developments in South America, but he also wrote love poems. Neruda's Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair (1924) have sold over a million copies since it first appeared. "Poetry is a deep inner calling in man; from it came liturgy, the psalms, and also the content of religions." (from Memoirs, 1974) "He was once referred as the Picasso of poetry, alluding to his protean ability to be always in the vanguard of change. And he himself has often alluded to his personal struggle with his own tradition, to his constant need to search for a new system in each book." (Rene de Costa in The Poetry of Pablo Neruda, 1979) [Links to other poems] [broken link] http://www-personal.umich.edu/~agreene/Neruda.html http://members.aol.com/KatharenaE/private/Pweek/Neruda/neruda.html -Suchitra