Sunday, January 25, 2009

Favorite Poem #1: 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,
remember
that on that day,
at that hour,
I shall lift my arms
and my roots will set off
to seek another land.

But
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.



I really like this poem because of the descriptions of the love and emotion he feels for his lover. In the first stanza especially,"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." It has a very romantic tone from the language used. I found it interesting how the middle of the poem, Neruda contradicts his deep emotional love with the warning,"If suddenly you forget me, do not look for me, for I shall already have forgotten you." The middle stanzas tell of how easily this discovered love can be forgotten and how unattached the speaker can become if the lover they are talking to does as well. But, in the end Neruda switches once again to that love entrenched speaker, "But if each day, each hour, you feel that you are destined for me...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." I really like how in the end the speaker recants their speech on easily forgetting their beloved and essentially cements all the strong rapturous emotions they spoke of in the beginning.

3 comments:

Chris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chris said...

I disliked this poem. There was nothing I liked about it. That being said, I believe that the meaning is quite interesting. Neruda is writing of a typical love story until the middle, where he becomes the instigator instead of his lover. I agree that at the end of the poem, he does exactly what he says may happen; the love dies out eventually.

Gaby said...

Umm stop hatin on Pablo!