Pablo Neruda

Quotations

I grew up in this town, my poetry was born between the hill and the river, it took its voice from the rain, and like the timber, it steeped itself in the forests.

Wall Street Journal 14 Nov 85

Latin America is very fond of the word “hope.” We like to be called the “continent of hope.” Candidates for deputy, senator, president, call themselves “candidates of hope.” This hope is really something like a promise of heaven, an IOU whose payment is always being put off. It is put off until the next legislative campaign, until next year, until the next century.

Memoirs, ch. 11

The darkness of a day elapsed,
of a day nourished with our sad blood.

There Is No Forgetting: Sonata, Residencia en la Tierra (1925-1935) (1935)

A bibliophile of little means is likely to suffer often. Books don’t slip from his hands but fly past him through the air, high as birds, high as prices.

Memoirs, ch. 11

Some day I’ll join him right there,
but now he’s gone with his shaggy coat,
his bad manners and his cold nose

all his sweet and shaggy life,
always near me, never troubling me,
and asking nothing.

A Dog Has Died

Joyful, joyful, joyful,
as only dogs know how to be happy
with only the autonomy
of their shameless spirit.

A Dog Has Died

There are no good-byes for my dog who has died,
and we don’t now and never did lie to each other.

Because I love you, Love, in fire and blood.

I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.

Tonight I Can Write

I no longer love her, that’s certain, but maybe I love her.
Love is so short, forgetting is so long.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride; so I love you because I know no other way

than this: Where ‘I’ does not exist, nor ‘You’, so close that your hand on my chest is my hand, so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

Now, on the road to freedom, I was pausing for a moment near Temuco and could hear the voice of the water that had taught me to sing.

Wall Street Journal 14 Nov 85