Sunday, April 26, 2009

if you forget me...

If You Forget Me ~ by Pablo Neruda

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,
that on that day,
at that hour,
I shall lift my arms
and my roots will set off
to seek another land.

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

image source: MLn17P9oa2859tsdymPOiFuh_500


Angelynn said...

I absolutely love that poem! Now I have to go and read some more of his poems. I also love Octavio Paz. Thanks for sharing. You have a very nice blog. Namaste, Angelynn

Steve E. said...

Calli, your files are crammed with winners, and Neruda is certainly one of them. His poetic prowess transcended his political activism IMO.

What supplication, what emotional feeling he evokes! I see a photo of this Chilean. From that, I would never dream he might be capable of putting together expressions of deep thoughts and deep love.

Yet I'd suppose talents are in every woman and man to a certain degree. AND--if everyone performed, who would attend the concert?

May Monday be kind to you and yours...Steve

Printemps said...

if each day,
each hour,
you feel that you are destined for me
with implacable sweetness,...'

Love this!

Karen said...

Such a beautiful poem. Thank you for sharing this. For so many of the last years, I've spent my life concentrating on the pedagogy of my work and not the poetry in my life. This makes me want to read more poetry!!

Shadow said...

absolutely outstanding...

~CJ said...


This is a beautiful poem.

My only thought concerning it is that it doesn't seem to be an example of true unconditional love.

The author seems to be saying "if you don't love me the way that I love you then you are not worthy of my love..."

It almost seems like a kind of threat or ultimatum!

Beautiful imagery throughout though

Calli said...

You know CJ, I have to agree with you completely. I only wanted to post the final verse, but I also did not want to cheat Neruda in that way! He is the most passionate of poets but a man at the same time and I think he felt as Man does, until we learn about 'unconditional love'...I also think he was quite young when he wrote this poem, which says a lot.

and I do not believe in ultimatums. As we get older (oh, and we are, aren't we ?) we learn, we grow, we give love generously without conditions. I think I've learned how to do that. Love for the sake of loving. Just loving. If the love is not returned, then so be it, I can still say that I have loved...There is a freedom in that!

Have a beautiful week CJ and all!!

and a special thank you to all of you for your lovely comments!


~CJ said...

I think he felt as Man does, until we learn about 'unconditional love'...I also think he was quite young when he wrote this poem, which says a lot. Absolutely. As a man and as one who has experienced the many forms that love can take I can totally relate to Neruda's point of view here.

The rush of a new love can befuddle logic because the heart wants what the heart wants and if the love is not reciprocated by the beloved then 'ego'and pride are wounded and can lead to resentment and anger. Anger has been said to be nothing other than misplaced passion. Sad, but this is an example of what I call 'base' love, which is the lowest form of love with Divine Love being of the highest order.

Base love is kind of a selfish and possesive love because it seeks to satisfy only self with little regard to the feelings or welfare of the other involved. Can be kind of a fine line too.

Thank God we are all capable of evolving though as we get older and, yes, we do get older but wiser too! :)

Well stated and I totally agree with your insights

Have a great week as well, Calli.

Khaled KEM said...

Hi Calli,

Thanks for all your kind and encouraging words. I love this one by Neruda. Thanks for posting it. With Neruda you are in a world of your own.

laughingwolf said...

one of my fave poets, that neruda

thx calli

[google eat my previous post?] :(