Quotes by Pablo Neruda
Welcome to our collection of quotes (with shareable picture quotes) by Pablo Neruda. We hope you enjoy pondering them and that you will share them widely.
Wikipedia Summary for Pablo Neruda
Ricardo Eliécer Neftalí Reyes Basoalto (12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973), better known by his pen name and, later, legal name Pablo Neruda (Spanish: [ˈpaβlo neˈɾuða]), was a Chilean poet-diplomat and politician who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971. Neruda became known as a poet when he was 13 years old, and wrote in a variety of styles, including surrealist poems, historical epics, overtly political manifestos, a prose autobiography, and passionate love poems such as the ones in his collection Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair (1924).
Neruda occupied many diplomatic positions in various countries during his lifetime and served a term as a Senator for the Chilean Communist Party. When President Gabriel González Videla outlawed communism in Chile in 1948, a warrant was issued for Neruda's arrest. Friends hid him for months in the basement of a house in the port city of Valparaíso; Neruda escaped through a mountain pass near Maihue Lake into Argentina. Years later, Neruda was a close advisor to Chile's socialist President Salvador Allende. When Neruda returned to Chile after his Nobel Prize acceptance speech, Allende invited him to read at the Estadio Nacional before 70,000 people.
Neruda was hospitalized with cancer in September 1973, at the time of the coup d'état led by Augusto Pinochet that overthrew Allende's government, but returned home after a few days when he suspected a doctor of injecting him with an unknown substance for the purpose of murdering him on Pinochet's orders. Neruda died in his house in Isla Negra on 23 September 1973, just hours after leaving the hospital. Although it was long reported that he died of heart failure, the Interior Ministry of the Chilean government issued a statement in 2015 acknowledging a Ministry document indicating the government's official position that "it was clearly possible and highly likely" that Neruda was killed as a result of "the intervention of third parties". However, an international forensic test conducted in 2013 rejected allegations that he was poisoned. It was concluded that he was suffering from prostate cancer. Pinochet, backed by elements of the armed forces, denied permission for Neruda's funeral to be made a public event, but thousands of grieving Chileans disobeyed the curfew and crowded the streets.
Neruda is often considered the national poet of Chile, and his works have been popular and influential worldwide. The Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez once called him "the greatest poet of the 20th century in any language", and the critic Harold Bloom included Neruda as one of the writers central to the Western tradition in his book The Western Canon.
You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep Spring from coming.
Poetry is an act of peace.
Poetry is an act of peace. Peace goes into the making of a poet as flour goes into the making of bread.
When everything seems to be set to show me off as intelligent, the fool I always keep hidden takes over all that I say.
Hate is like a swordfish, working through water invisibly and then you see it coming with blood along its blade, but transparency disarms it.
Let's try and avoid death in small doses,
reminding oneself that being alive requires an effort far greater than the simple fact of breathing.
Only a burning patience will lead
to the attainment of a splendid happiness.
By night, Love, tie your heart to mine, and the two
together in their sleep will defeat the darkness.
I will die kissing your mad cold mouth,
embracing the lost bouquet of your body,
and searching for the light of your closed eyes.
In this part of the story I am the one who
dies, the only one, and I will die of love because I love you,
because I love you, Love, in fire and in blood.
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
That on that day, at that hour, I shall lift my arms
And my roots will set off to seek another land.
I walked around as you do, investigating the endless star, and in my net, during the night, I woke up naked, the only thing caught, a fish trapped inside the wind.
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.
And I watch my words from a long way off. They are more yours than mine. They climb on my old suffering like ivy.
And I watch my words from a long way off. They are more yours than mine. They climb on my old suffering like ivy. It climbs the same way on damp walls. You are to blame for this cruel sport. They are fleeing from my dark lair. You fill everything, you fill everything. Before you they peopled the solitude that you occupy, and they are more used to my sadness than you are. Now I want them to say what I want to say to you to make you hear as I want you to hear me.
Maybe someone will know I didn't weave crowns to draw blood; that I faught against mockery; that I did fill the high tide of my soul with truth. I repaid vileness with doves.
I had no more alphabet
than the journeying of the swallows,
the pure and tiny water
of the small, fiery bird
that dances rising from the pollen.
And when you appear all the rivers sound in my body, bells shake the sky, and a hymn fills the world.
And that's why i have to go back to so many places there to find myself and constantly examine myself with no witness but the moon and then whistle with joy, ambling over rocks and clods of earth, with no task but to live, with no family but the road.
How you must have suffered getting accustomed to me, my savage, solitary soul, my name that sends them all running. So many times we have seen the morning star burn, kissing our eyes, and over our heads the grey light unwinds in turning fans.
Let us look for secret things somewhere in the world on the blue shore of silence or where the storm has passed rampaging like a train. There the faint signs are left, coins of time and water, debris ,celestial ash and the irreplaceable rapture of sharing in the labour of soitude in the sand.
We open the halves of a miracle, and a clotting of acids brims into the starry divisions: creation's original juices, irreducible, changeless, alive: so the freshness lives on.
So the freshness lives on in a lemon, in the sweet-smelling house of the rind, the proportions, arcane and acerb.
I don't want to go on being a root in the dark, vacillating, stretched out, shivering with sleep, downward, in the soaked guts of the earth, absorbing and thinking, eating each day.
So I wait for you like a lonely house till you will see me again and live in me. Till then my windows ache.
While inside, a ferocious love wound around
and around me-till it pierced me with its thorns, its sword,
slashing a seared road through my heart
100 Love Sonnets by Pablo Neruda, translated by Stephen Tapscott.
I've come within range of hate. Terrifying, its tremors, its dizzying obsessions. Hate's like a swordfish invisible in the water, knifing suddenly into sight with blood on its blade- clear water misleads you.
Joyful, joyful, joyful, as only dogs know how to be happy with only the autonomy of their shameless spirit.
Someone will ask later, sometimes searching for a name, his own or someone's else's why I neglected his sadness or his love... But I didn't have enough time or ink for everyone. Or maybe it was the strain of the city, of time the cold heart of the clocks.
No one will retrieve my lost heart
amidst so many roots, in the bitter freshness
of the sun multiplied by the fury of the water,
there the shadow lives that does not travel with me.
Don't leave me, even for an hour, because then the little drops of anguish will all run together, the smoke that roams looking for a home will drift into me, choking my lost heart.
To feel the affection that comes from those whom we do not know ... widens out the boundaries of our being, and unites all living things.
Your house sounds like a train at midday,
the wasps buzz, the saucepans sing,
the waterfall enumerates the deeds of the dew.
Of so much moon were your hips to me,
of all the sun your deep mouth and its delight,
of so much burning light like honey in the shade.
I should like to sleep like a cat, with all the fur of time, with a tongue rough as flint, with the dry sex of fire; and after speaking to no one, stretch myself over the world, over roofs and landscapes, with a passionate desire to hunt the rats in my dreams.
And what has become of it, where is that onetime love? Now it is the grave of a bird, a drop of black quartz, a chunk of wood eroded by the rain.
Perhaps this war will pass like the others which divided us leaving us dead, killing us along with the killers but the shame of this time puts its burning fingers to our faces. Who will erase the ruthlessness hidden in innocent blood?
If each day falls
inside each night,
there exists a well
where clarity is imprisoned.
We need to sit on the rim
of the well of darkness
and fish for fallen light
Oh, may your silhouette never dissolve on the beach;
may your eyelids never flutter into the empty
Don't leave me for a second, my dearest.
Is 4 the same 4 for everybody? Are all sevens equal? When the convict ponders the light is it the same light that shines on you?
Once more I am the silent one who came out of the distance wrapped in cold rain and bells: I owe to earth's pure death the will to sprout.
From scarlet to powdered gold, to blazing yellow, to the rare ashen emerald, to the orange and black velvet of your shimmering corselet, out to the tip that like an amber thorn begins you, small, superlative being, you are a miracle, and you blaze.
I hunger for your sleek laugh and your hands the color of a furious harvest. I want to eat the sunbeams flaring in your beauty.
I want to eat the sunbeam flaring in your lovely body... and I pace around hungry, sniffing the twilight, hunting for you, for your hot heart, like a puma in the barrens of Quitratue.
I ask permission to be like everybody else,like the rest of the world and what's more, like anybody else:I beg you, with all my heart,if we are talking about me, since we are talking about me,please resist blasting the trumpet during my visitand resign yourselves to my quiet absence.
Will our life not be a tunnel between two vague clarities? Or will it not be a clarity between two dark triangles?
In the end, everyone is aware of this:
nobody keeps any of what he has,
and life is only a borrowing of bones.
I do not love you-except because I love you; I go from loving to not loving you, from waiting to not waiting for you my heart moves from the cold into the fire.
I do not love you except because I love you; I go from loving to not loving you, From waiting to not waiting for you My heart moves from cold to fire. I love you only because it's you the one I love; I hate you deeply, and hating you Bend to you, and the measure of my changing love for you Is that I do not see you but love you blindly. Maybe January light will consume My heart with its cruel Ray, stealing my key to true calm. In this part of the story I am the one who Dies, the only one, and I will die of love because I love you, Because I love you, Love, in fire and blood.
We are dust and to dust return. In the end we're neither air, nor fire, nor water, just dirt, neither more nor less, just dirt, and maybe some yellow flowers.
Writing poetry, we live among the wild beasts, and when we touch a man, the stuff of someone in whom we believed, and he goes to pieces like a rotten pie, you... gather together whatever can be salvaged, while I cup my hands around the live coal of life.
On our earth, before writing was invented, before the printing press was invented, poetry flourished. That is why we know that poetry is like bread; it should be shared by all, by scholars and by peasants, by all our vast, incredible, extraordinary family of humanity.
But when I call for a hero, out comes my lazy old self; so I never know who I am, nor how many I am or will be. I'd love to be able to touch a bell and summon the real me, because if I really need myself, I mustn't disappear.
There's a country spread out in the sky, a credulous carpet of rainbows and crepuscular plants: I move toward it just a bit haggardly, trampling a gravedigger's rubble still moist from the spade to dream in a bedlam of vegetables.
I will bring you flowers from the mountains, bluebells, dark hazels, and rustic baskets of kisses. I want to do with you what spring does with the cherry trees.
I want to see the thirst
inside the syllables
I want to touch the fire
in the sound:
I want to feel the darkness
of the cry. I want
words as rough
as virgin rocks.
Bitter love, a violet with it's crown of thorns in a thicet of spiky passions, spear of sorrow, corolla of rage: how did you come to conquer my soul? What brought you?
I love all things, not only the grand but the infinitely small: thimble, spurs, plates, flower vases.
As slippery as smooth grapes, words exploding in the light like dormant seeds waiting in the vaults of vocabulary, alive again, and giving life: once again the heart distills them.
I am no longer in love with her, that's certain, but maybe I love her. Love is so short, forgetting is so long.
Oh love, rose made wet by mermaids and foams, fire that dances and climbs up the invisible stairs and awakens the blood in the tunnel of sleeplessness.
I love you only because it's you the one I love; I hate you deeply, and hating you Bend to you, and the measure of my changing love for you Is that I do not see you but love you blindly.
I got lost in the night, without the light of your eyelids, and when the night surrounded me I was born again: I was the owner of my own darkness.
But I love your feet only because they walked upon the earth and upon the wind and upon the waters, until they found me.
Love is not about property, diamonds and gifts. It is about sharing your very self with the world around you.
They will say: The one
is not a woman for you,
Why do you love her? I think
you could find one more beautiful,
more serious, more deep, more other .
We the mortals touch the metals,
the wind, the ocean shores, the stones,
knowing they will go on, inert or burning,
and I was discovering, naming all the these things:
it was my destiny to love and say goodbye.
The bare earth, plantless, waterless, is an immense puzzle. In the forests or beside rivers everything speaks to humans. The desert does not speak. I could not comprehend its tongue; its silence.
of a miracle,
and a clotting of acids
into the starry
so the freshness lives on.
I don't love you as if you were the salt-rose, topaz or arrow of carnations that propagate fire: I love you as certain dark things are loved, secretly, between the shadow and the soul.
Whom can I ask what I came to make happen in this world? Why do I move without wanting to, why am I not able to sit still? Why do I go rolling without wheels, flying without wings or feathers, and why did I decide to migrate if my bones live in Chile?
I love you without knowing how, nor when, nor from where,
I love you directly without problems or pride:
I love you this way because I know no other way to love,.
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride; so I love you because I know no other way than this: where I does not exist, nor you, so close that your hand on my chest is my hand, so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.
So I love you because I know no other way than this: where I does not exist, nor you, so close that your hand on my chest is my hand, so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.
Then love knew it was called love.
And when I lifted my eyes to your name,
suddenly your heart showed me my way.
Oh, beloved, and there is nothing but shadows
where you accompany me in your dreams
and tell me the hour of light.
The books that help you most are those which make you think that most. The hardest way of learning is that of easy reading; but a great book that comes from a great thinker is a ship of thought, deep freighted with truth and beauty.
I grew up in this town, my poetry was born between the hill and the river, it took its voice from the rain, and like the timber, it steeped itself in the forests.
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