Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Saddest Poem

Pablo Neruda is my favourite poet. Period. He is the only poet whose book I bought (apart from Che's of course, but then poetry wasn't his day job). I loved Il Postino. I am a better poet because of him.

His is the only poetry that moves me and shakes me to my very essence. When I read his poetry, my foundations become weak at the knees, my mind swirls to a thousand typhoons, my eyes see far-away sights and my ears hear only the sound of beauty as depicted by Pablo Neruda. I have not read as much of his poetry as I should have, and even if I read all his poetry, it will never be enough.

I was browsing through some of his poetry and going through the emotions mentioned above when I came across this one reproduced below. It was astounding. It was as if Pablo Neruda himself had become my psychiatrist or a mind reader. He knew my innermost thoughts, my deepest feelings that I thought I had successfully buried and hidden, but kept revisiting every once in a while to see if they were still there. He laid bare my soul with a solitary poem and showed himself to be as vulnerable as I am, and in doing so, he reaffirmed our bond. Every word, every letter, every syllable in this poem represents me. His tussle, his pendulum-like expressions for her, the aching in his heart and a final end with room left for hope.

Neruda, if it weren't for you, I wouldn't be.

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, and sometimes I loved her too.
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.


Carpe Diem said...

Painfully true. Tugs hard at one's heart.

n.aka.zephyr said...

Beautiful Poem... Will have to get my hands on to Pablo Neruda...

I used to write a lot of poetry about a decade ago but I stopped... I don't know why...

suraksha said...

OMG. You really ARE a kindred soul! :)

Pablo Neruda Owns. Period. His Everyday You Play is one of my favourites. :)

And The Saddest Poem makes one yearn. For what, I'm unable to define.

UnApologetic Confessions said...

Try reading the Odes by Neruda... Being a Che fan you will love them. A personal favourite of mine is the "Ode to the Coat" and "Ode to Tomato"

And while he wrote this poem when he was only 21, you can clearly notice the gloss of experience that his years in politics and rebellion added to the Odes.

Nice post as usual!!!

Rags said...

@ carpe diem:
It tore mine apart with a vengeful fury.

@ n.aka.zephyr:
Pablo Neruda taught me, like he did in "Il Postino", the importance and beauty of metaphors.
I find poetry very soothing. It caresses my soul and makes everything beautiful and sighable again. Please begin the poetic verses again.

@ suraksha:
I haven't read "Everyday You Play". Will look it up.
I am able to define exactly what I'm yearning for, but that is because there is a face, a name and a history that makes it possible.

@ unapologetic confessions:
Will definitely read some Odes. I unfortunately only have the gloss of imagination to add to my writing. Makes me feel like I haven't lived at all.

Pushpa said...

hey venky,

I really liked this one! & I had something pretty similar to it!

Never can I forget those moments,

When u looked into my eyes

& I felt moist!

For when I were depressed,

& had lost all the hope on earth,

You took me in ur arms

& embrassed, giving me warmth!

while gazing @ the night sky…

leaning on ur shoulder,

when I smiled & U kissed my forehead!

The fantasy stories,

u narrated for hours,

just to put me to sleep,

& to avoid those nightmares!

Giving me my space, just when I needed

& making me feel comfortable,

In those most difficult times!

Leaving aside all your work,

when u stood as my shoulder

just when I had lost all the support!

For all those moments that u have been there for me,

I hav felt the need for u today…

more than I ever did!

Standing in front of ur grave,


I still felt u around me!

Like the invisible air,