10 Famous Poems by Pablo Neruda


Pablo Neruda and His Famous Poems - Pablo Neruda may have evoked a number of controversies throughout his lifetime, but he still remains one of the most influential literati of the modernist 20th century. His poetic flair was without doubt, one of the finest of his time, for which he received a number of accolades and honors, including the Nobel Prize for literature. 

This Chilean poet has been named one of ‘the greatest poets of the 20th century in any language’ for his large repertoire of works, typically based on surrealistic, erotic or historic themes. Most of his poetry was written in the Spanish language and many readers from around the world found it difficult to disentangle Neruda’s poetry from his zealous obligation to socialism. His works that are available or decoded in English embody only a small percentage of his over-all yield today. Apart from his writing career, he was placed in a number of ambassadorial positions and also served a brief stint as senator for the Chilean Communist Party. When communism was proscribed, Neruda was to be arrested, but he instead went into exile.

You can read 10 famous poems by Pablo Neruda here:


If You Forget Me

I want you to know
one thing.


You know how this is:
if I look
at the crystal moon, at the red branch
of the slow autumn at my window,
if I touch
near the fire
the impalpable ash
or the wrinkled body of the log,
everything carries me to you,
as if everything that exists,
aromas, light, metals,
were little boats
that sail
toward those isles of yours that wait for me.

Well, now,
if little by little you stop loving me
I shall stop loving you little by little.

If suddenly
you forget me
do not look for me,
for I shall already have forgotten you.

If you think it long and mad,
the wind of banners
that passes through my life,
and you decide
to leave me at the shore
of the heart where I have roots,
remember
that on that day,
at that hour,
I shall lift my arms
and my roots will set off
to seek another land.

But
if each day,
each hour,
you feel that you are destined for me
with implacable sweetness,
if each day a flower
climbs up to your lips to seek me,
ah my love, ah my own,
in me all that fire is repeated,
in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten,
my love feeds on your love, beloved,
and as long as you live it will be in your arms
without leaving mine.



Your Laughter

Take bread away from me, if you wish,
take air away, but
do not take from me your laughter.

Do not take away the rose,
the lance flower that you pluck,
the water that suddenly
bursts forth in joy,
the sudden wave
of silver born in you.

My struggle is harsh and I come back
with eyes tired
at times from having seen
the unchanging earth,
but when your laughter enters
it rises to the sky seeking me
and it opens for me all
the doors of life.

My love, in the darkest
hour your laughter
opens, and if suddenly
you see my blood staining
the stones of the street,
laugh, because your laughter
will be for my hands
like a fresh sword.

Next to the sea in the autumn,
your laughter must raise
its foamy cascade,
and in the spring, love,
I want your laughter like
the flower I was waiting for,
the blue flower, the rose
of my echoing country.

Laugh at the night,
at the day, at the moon,
laugh at the twisted
streets of the island,
laugh at this clumsy
boy who loves you,
but when I open
my eyes and close them,
when my steps go,
when my steps return,
deny me bread, air,
light, spring,
but never your laughter
for I would die.



I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You

I do not love you except because I love you;
I go from loving to not loving you,
From waiting to not waiting for you
My heart moves from cold to fire.

I love you only because it's you the one I love;
I hate you deeply, and hating you
Bend to you, and the measure of my changing love for you
Is that I do not see you but love you blindly.

Maybe January light will consume
My heart with its cruel
Ray, stealing my key to true calm.

In this part of the story I am the one who
Dies, the only one, and I will die of love because I love you,
Because I love you, Love, in fire and blood.



Unity

There is something dense, united, settled in the depths,
repeating its number, its identical sign.
How it is noted that stones have touched time,
in their refined matter there is an odor of age,
of water brought by the sea, from salt and sleep.

I'm encircled by a single thing, a single movement:
a mineral weight, a honeyed light
cling to the sound of the word "noche":
the tint of wheat, of ivory, of tears,
things of leather, of wood, of wool,
archaic, faded, uniform,
collect around me like walls.

I work quietly, wheeling over myself,
a crow over death, a crow in mourning.
I mediate, isolated in the spread of seasons,
centric, encircled by a silent geometry:
a partial temperature drifts down from the sky,
a distant empire of confused unities
reunites encircling me.



Epithalamium

Do you remember when
in winter
we reached the island?
The sea raised toward us
a crown of cold.

On the walls the climbing vines
murmured letting
dark leaves fall
as we passed.
You too were a little leaf
that trembled on my chest.
Life's wind put you there.

At first I did not see you: I did not know
that you were walking with me,
until your roots
pierced my chest
joined the threads of my blood
spoke through my mouth
flourished with me.

Thus was your inadvertent presence
invisible leaf or branch
and suddenly my heart was filled with fruits and sounds
You occupied the house
that darkly awaited you
and then you lit the lamps.



Poor Creatures

What it takes on this planet,
to make love to each other in peace.
Everyone pries under your sheets,
everyone interferes with your loving.

They say terrible things about a man and a woman,
who after much milling about,
all sorts of compunctions,
do something unique,
they both lie with each other in one bed.
I ask myself whether frogs are so furtive,
or sneeze as they please. 
Whether they whisper to each other in swamps about illegitimate frogs, 
or the joys of amphibious living.

I ask myself if birds single out enemy birds,
or bulls gossip with bullocks before they go out in public with cows.
Even the roads have eyes and the parks their police.

Hotels spy on their guests,
windows name names,
canons and squadrons debark on missions to liquidate love.
All those ears and those jaws working incessantly,
till a man and his girl
have to raise their climax,
full tilt,
on a bicycle.



I Like For You To Be Still

I like for you to be still
it is as though you are absent
And you hear me from far away
And my voice does not touch you
it seems as though your eyes had flown away
And it seems that a kiss had sealed your mouth
As all things are filled with my soul
You emerge from the things
Filled with my soul
You are like my soul
A butterfly of dream
And you are like the word: Melancholy

I like for you to be still
And you seem far away
it sounds as though you are lamenting
A butterfly cooing like a dove
And you hear me from far away
And my voice does not reach you
Let me come to be still in your silence
And let me talk to you with your silence
That is bright as a lamp
Simple, as a ring
You are like the night
With its stillness and constellations
Your silence is that of a star
As remote and candid

I like for you to be still
it is as though you are absent
Distant and full of sorrow
So you would've died
One word then, One smile is enough
And I'm happy;
Happy that it's not true



Lone Gentleman

Tell me, is the rose naked
or is that her only dress?

Why do trees conceal
the splendor of their roots?

Who hears the regrets
of the thieving automobile?

Is there anything in the world sadder
than a train standing in the rain?



Enigma With Flower

Victory. It has come late, I had not learnt
how to arrive, like the lily, at will,
the white figure, that pierces
the motionless eternity of earth,
pushing at clear, faint, form,
till the hour strikes: that clay,
with a white ray, or a spur of milk.

Shedding of clothing, the thick darkness of soil,
on whose cliff the fair flower advances,
till the flag of its whiteness
defeats the contemptible deep of night,
and, from the motion of light,
spills itself in astonished seed.



Tower of Light

O tower of light, sad beauty
that magnified necklaces and statues in the sea,
calcareous eye, insignia of the vast waters, cry
of the mourning petrel, tooth of the sea, wife
of the Oceanian wind, O separate rose
from the long stem of the trampled bush
that the depths, converted into archipelago,
O natural star, green diadem,
alone in your lonesome dynasty,
still unattainable, elusive, desolate
like one drop, like one grape, like the sea.