About the love song.

It feels corny to write about a love song. But then, we have been receiving some good readership from Chile at Recoplace, and that inspires me since this has a lot to do with Neruda. This post is about someone’s article in CET’s (College of Engineering – Trivandrum) college magazine of 1988 or so. It introduced me to what I came to think of as the greatest love song.

I taught “Digital Electronics” at CET in the summer of ’88 and chanced upon the college magazine. I can’t recollect the year of publication, and I can’t recall who wrote the article I am referring to. He (I think it was he) shared Neruda’s “Saddest Poem” and also his own version of the poem, written clearly as a tribute to Neruda’s writing. I loved both these poems and held on to the college magazine for many years. And then, I lost it.

Help wanted

Wondering if anyone (particularly, you know, fifty year olds from CET) can help trace the second poem, and maybe pin a name to the person who wrote the article.

Here is the English version of Neruda’s poem:

Saddest Poem – Poem by Pablo Neruda

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.

Here is the original:


And if you like poetry, you may like this:

The Prophet