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Ode to Pablo Neruda.

The words ooze sensuality on the page in a way so romantic, even the most cynical person (myself included) cannot help slowly becoming a victim of the swooning.  It’s steamy tropical heat rising off the pages. Lush lyricism enchants, the hands on the book begin to sweat. It mesmerizes. It’s the highest extension of passion on paper.  It’s at once heart melting, heart breaking, gut wrenching and emotional enough to make you want to find a lost love and pour out long held emotions at their feet. It removes all sense of logic and rationalization. The feelings are those of love, the pain that comes with love, and the all too familiar feeling of loss that inevitably follows true love. That is what is so special about Neruda; he writes of the knee weakening love that should be approached with relish and passion because he is certain that is will not stay perfectly unbroken forever. It cannot. No love ever does. And therein lays the magic of poetry, of Neruda. He loves with reckless abandon and suffers the consequences. 

Certain books, especially– 100 Love Sonnets and 20 Love Poems and A Song of Despair– should come with a warning: there is no telling what you may do once intoxicated.  


From 100 Love Sonnets

…I loved you without knowing I did; I searched to remember you.
I broke into houses to steal your likeness,
though I already knew what you were like. And, suddenly,
when you were there with me I touched you, and my life

From I Like For You To Be Still in Twenty Love Poems and A Song of Despair

I like for you to be still: it is as though you were absent,
And you hear me from far away and my voice does not touch you.
I like for you to be still: it is as though you were absent,
distant and full of sorrow as though you had died.
One word then, one smile, is enough.
And I am happy, happy that it’s not true.

 From my personal favorite, Tonight I Can Write In Twenty Love Poems and A Song of Despair

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her.
My sight tries to find her as though to bring her closer
My heart looks for her, and she is not with me.


 Unlike what you may think, I like to read Mr. Neruda when I’m floating on a sea of despair. He shows how pain can be lyrical, and also necessary.  I also know there are many unflattering things about his personal world, but they are erased from my memory the moment I encounter his words; an effect not unlike that which happens when you find yourself knee deep in love.


Gracias por mostrarnos su alma, Senor Neruda.


2 responses »

  1. Damn! Reading this brought a tear to my eye. It was both your writing and his!

  2. Love this man’s writing|! You may also enjoy following him on Twitter.

    He often puts into words concepts that I hadn’t yet realized I needed to say! 😀


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