We all know Valentine’s Day is commercialized. We should be celebrating our loved ones every day, singles get the short end of the stick, most of us only care about the chocolate, etc. etc. Instead of drowning in despair over capitalistic hedonism, why not drown in the despair of Pablo Neruda’s “Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair?” Ideal if you’re a secret hopeless romantic who is mad at your partner, you’re a pining single, and/or you’ve run out of quality fanfiction with your OTP.
These poems are beautiful, striking, and heart-wrenching. Neruda twists surreal imagery with truths of human connection. The result is a powerful narrative encapsulating the experience of being romantically involved. When I read these poems, I too almost felt like I was going through the motions – falling in love, futilely hoping, having my heart broken.
Read it in Spanish if you can, otherwise I recommend the version I linked above.
Some memorable lines:
Here I love you and the horizon hides you in vain. / I love you still among these cold things.
– “Aquí te amo”
Love is so short, forgetting is so long.
– “Puedo escribir”
The birds of night peck at the first stars / That flash like my soul when I love you.
– “Inclinado en las tardes”
Pablo Neruda and Edna St. Vincent Millay are my favorite poets and are big inspirations to my writing.
Check out more of Pablo’s work and maybe look up some of Millay’s poems to top off a perfect anti-capitalistic hedonism version of Valentine’s Day.
I remember you as you were those months ago –
The budding marigold in the arms of the wind.
Time has spiked silence on our court and pinned
Our tangled nights to the bullseye, but even so
In my thoughts your gaze still volleys with mine;
We walk through the zoo of lights, aquarium of words,
Bump shoulders and fingers. Still, the birds we heard
In the cedar trees have long since flown. The train line
We rode to fields of rice has stopped for now.
But I’ll pick up the blossoms of days with you from the ground,
And put them in a pot of soil till we meet again, whenever
That may be. I’ll set them on the windowsill and vow
To leave and let bloom, till the day comes around –
We’ll meet, we’ll embrace, and embrace – a moment of forever.
Written January 17, 2019.
Parameters: Inspired by Pablo Neruda’s own “I remember you as you were” poem, very loose Petrarchan sonnet
Continue reading ““I remember you as you were””
It’s been raining since you were fifteen
And the men with closed fists stomped in the puddles
Rippling their rage into the present.
On rainy days, all you want is to read novels and poetry
And too much into the look of twilight reclining into my eyes,
Next to the window glossed with pearls.
But it’s falling down, a torrent breaks the pane and the weather men –
The ripples coil into waves and snake around you
In a suffocating embrace of seaweed and salt.
Isn’t it too dark to see in this storm?
If you wait a second, lightning snaps its fingers
And a comet tail of light bends over you for a breath
But even so, how can you follow the story
When it is dripping off the page
Back into the ocean? You exhale –
Flailing in the ink, wishing you knew how to swim.
Written January 14, 2019.
Parameters: freestyle, Pablo Neruda-esque juxtapositions, horror
Continue reading ““It’s been raining since””