Saddest Poem

February 6, 2006 at 9:56 pm 7 comments

Pablo Neruda

Listen

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, sometimes I loved her.
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.

(Rivera reads the poem)

[blackmamba]

Entry filed under: Black Mamba, English, Pablo Neruda, Rivera, Spanish. Tags: .

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7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Falstaff  |  February 6, 2006 at 11:10 pm

    Another translation I don’t approve of. The W.S. Merwin translation is SO much better:

    Tonight I can write the saddest lines.

    Write, for example, ‘The night is shattered
    and the blue stars shiver in the distance.’

    The night wind revolves in the sky and sings.

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

    Through nights like this one I held her in my arms.
    I kissed her again and again under the endless sky.

    She loved me, sometimes I loved her too.
    How could one not have loved her great still eyes.

    Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
    To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her.

    To hear the immense night, still more immense without her.
    And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture.

    What does it matter that my love could not keep her.
    The night is shattered and she is not with me.

    This is all. In the distance someone is singing. In the distance.
    My soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

    My sight searches for her as though to go to her.
    My heart looks for her, and she is not with me.

    The same night whitening the same trees.
    We, of that time, are no longer the same.

    I no longer love her, that’s certain, but how I loved her.
    My voice tried to find the wind to touch her hearing.

    Another’s. She will be another’s. Like my kisses before.
    Her voice. Her bright body. Her infinite eyes.

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

    Because through nights like this one I held her in my arms
    my soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

    Though this be the last pain that she makes me suffer
    and these the last verses that I write for her.

    Reply
  • 2. Accidental Fame Junkie  |  February 9, 2006 at 12:01 am

    Beautiful! I can just imagine how it must have sounded in Spanish.

    Reply
  • 3. rivera  |  February 14, 2006 at 12:08 pm

    this version is much much better… i can record this one and send it to da black mamba…

    Reply
  • 4. pō’ĭ-trē » Saddest Poem - II  |  July 13, 2006 at 12:27 am

    […] Rivera has recorded W.S. Merwin’s translation of the Saddest Poem. His original recording can be found here. […]

    Reply
  • 5. Jamie  |  January 1, 2007 at 8:54 pm

    Just searching on google and found your site. It was ranked fairly high on google to. Anyway just looking around to see why.
    thanks
    jamie

    Reply
  • 6. A. Fox  |  August 15, 2007 at 9:27 pm

    I love the Merwin translation!

    Reply
  • 7. Pablo Neruda « brighttigerpress  |  May 18, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    […] Rivera has recorded W.S. Merwin’s translation of the Saddest Poem. His original recording can be found here. […]

    Reply

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