From The Captain’s Verses:
Letter on the Road
Farewell, but you will be
with me, you will go within
a drop of blood circulating in my veins
or Outside, a kiss that burns my Face
or a belt of fire at my waist.
My sweet, accept
the great love that came out of my life
and that in you found no territory
like the explorer lost
in the isles of bread and honey.
I found you after
the rain washed the air
and in the water
your sweet feet gleamed like fishes.
Adored one, I am off to my fighting.
I shall scratch the earth to make you a cave
and there your Captain
will wait for you with flowers in the bed.
Think no more, my sweet,
about the anguish
that went on between us
like a bolt of phosphorous
leaving us perhaps its burning.
Peace arrived too because I return
to my land to fight,
and as I have a whole heart
with the share of blood that you gave me
my hands filled with your naked being,
look at me,
look at me,
look at me across the sea, for I go radiant,
look at me across the night through which I sail,
and sea and night are those eyes of yours.
I have not left you when I go away.
Now I am going to tell you:
my land will be yours,
I am going to conquer it,
not just to give it to you,
but for everyone,
for all my people.
The thief will come out of his tower some day.
And the invader will be expelled.
All the fruits of life
will grow in my hands
accustomed once to powder.
And I shall know how to touch the new flowers gently
because you taught me tenderness.
My sweet, adored one,
you will come with me to fight face to face
because your kisses live in my heart
like red banners,
and if I fall, not only
will earth cover me
but also this great love that you brought me
and that lived circulating in my blood.
You will come with me,
at that hour I wait for you,
at that hour and at every hour,
at every hour I wait for you.
And when the sadness that I hate comes
to knock at your door,
tell her that I am waiting for you
and when loneliness wants you to change
the ring in which my name is written,
tell loneliness to talk with me,
that I had to go away
because I am a soldier,
and that there where I am,
under rain or under
my love, I wait for you.
I wait for you in the harshest desert
and next to the flowering lemon tree,
in every place where there is life,
where spring is being born,
my love, I wait for you.
When they tell you: ” That man
does not love you,” remember
that my feet are alone in that night, and they seek
the sweet and tiny feet that I adore.
Love, when they tell you
that I have forgotten you, and even when
it is I who say it,
when I say it to you,
do not believe me,
who could and how could anyone
cut you from my heart
and who would receive
when I went bleeding toward you?
But still I can not
forget my people.
I am going to fight in each street,
behind each stone.
Your love also helps me:
it is a closed flower
that constantly fills me with its aroma
and that opens suddenly
within me like a great star.
My love, it is night.
The black water, the sleeping
world surround me.
Soon dawn will come,
and meanwhile I write you
to tell you: ” I love you.”
To tell you ” I love you,” care for,
clean, lift up,
our love, my darling.
I leave it with you as if I left
a handful of earth with seeds.
From our love lives will be born.
In our love they will drink water.
Perhaps a day will come
when a man and a woman, like
will touch this love and it will still have the strength
to burn the hands that touch it.
Who were we? What does it matter?
They will touch this fire and the fire,
my sweet, will say your simple name
and mine, the name
that only you knew, because you alone
upon earth know
who I am, and because nobody knew me like one,
like just one hand of yours,
knew how or when
my heart was burning:
only your great dark eyes knew,
your wide mouth,
your skin, your breasts,
your belly, your insides,
and your soul that I awoke
so that it would go on
singing until the end of life.
Love, I am waiting for you.
Farewell, love, I am waiting for you.
Love, love, I am waiting for you.
And so this letter ends
with no sadness:
my feet are firm upon the earth,
my hand writes this letter on the road,
and in the midst of life I shall be
beside the friend, facing the enemy,
with your name on my mouth
and a kiss that never
broke away from yours.
Love is so short,
forgetting is so long.
–Tonight I can Write (The Saddest Lines)
Those who’ve known love know the agony and irreconcilable truth of this line. But I’ve come to understand love’s brevity as it’s necessity, it essence. How we call what is far away, fleeting, unexpected, and untouchable in nature “beautiful.” How, no matter how hard we turn away from reminiscence, or how much we crave it obsessively, there is nostalgia in the good, the bad, and even the ugly. How you have to weigh the suffering with the pleasure. Pleasure and pain, agony and ecstasy, inexplicably intertwined. You cannot leave the one without taking the other. The only question is what love is worth to you. What you are worth to yourself.
And, especially in this modern society, at what price does cheap love come?
Memory can be a blessing and a curse.
Double edged Oblivion:
“One of the hardest things you will ever have to do, my dear, is to grieve the loss of a person who is still alive.”-My father’s advice #1 (via northern-proper)
The Ancient Greeks knew the impossible necessity of oblivion, and that’s why they created the river Lethe. I think we crave oblivion more than death. Death is easy, sudden. But forgetting…
“We forget all too soon the things we thought we could never forget. We forget the loves and betrayals alike, forget what we whispered and what we screamed, forget who we were.”-Joan Didion II
LINK to litgenius:https://genius.com/artists/Pablo-neruda
Reading list (everything, but especially):
Tonight I can write (The Saddest Lines)*
I Crave Your Mouth, Your Voice, Your Hair
If You Forget Me*
Every Day You Play*
Carnal Apple, Woman Filled, Burning Moon
Here I Love You
Sonnet LXVI: I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You
So That You Will Hear Me
Body of a Woman
Brown and Agile Child*
Ode to Broken Things*
I Like For You to Be Still*
Ah Vastness of Pines
Girl Lithe and Tawny
The Song of Despair*
Ode and Burgeonings