I Could Write the Saddest Poems Tonight

I could write the saddest poems tonight.

 

Write, for example, how “The night is full of stars,

And cold and blue they shiver in the distance.”

 

A night breeze swings round the sky and sings.

 

I could write the saddest poems tonight.

How I loved her, and sometimes she loved me.

 

On nights like this I held her in my arms.

Kissed her again and again under the endless sky.

 

How she loved me, and sometimes I loved her.

How could I not love her big deep eyes?

 

I could write the saddest poems tonight.

To think I don’t have her. To feel that I’ve lost her.

 

To hear the immense night, more immense without her.

These words condense on my soul like dew on the grass.

What does it matter? Still I could not keep her.

The night is full of stars but she is here no more.

 

That is all. Someone sings. Far away. In the distance.

My soul will not rest because I have lost her.

 

My eyes look, longing to bring her closer.

My heart searches but can find her no longer.

 

Now the same night whitens the same trees,

Back then we were one and the same but no more.

 

I don’t love her any more, but how I loved her.

My voice whispered to the wind to caress her ears.

 

Another. She’ll yield to another. To my kisses once,

Her voice, her light body. Her endless eyes.

 

I don’t love her any more, but right now I love her.

Love is short and oblivion so much longer.

 

Because on nights like this I held her in my arms.

My soul will not rest because I have lost her.

 

Though this be the last grief she gives me,

And this the last poem I ever write her.

Translated by Peter Jukes from ‘Puedo Escribir’ by Pablo Neruda.

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