Poetry Club, day 12

Pablo Neruda means a lot to me. If you’ve read The Joy of Poetry, you know my parents met in Chile, and that my dad met Neruda.

I found Neruda’s Cien sonetos de amor at a local bishop in Bonners Ferry, Idaho. The day after we returned home was our 25th anniversary of John and I meeting each other. On that blessed day I gave my love … nothing. I wanted to be left alone for some poetry time.

John’s lived with me for a long time. He kindly gave me space. But I’d forgotten he’d be gone that night. When I finally stopped writing, I missed him. So I picked up my Neruda.

If my parents taught me anything, it was to never take your loved one for granted. Neruda was married three times, but I feel sure he would find ways to celebrate an anniversary without working on a stupid laptop.

Yes, Love, we were home that day, and summer had arrived. We traveled to Canada, not Armenia. Sat beside the Kootenai, not the Yang-Tse. Instead of sailing home across the “crackling sea,” we flew home over the Rocky Mountains. We returned to rain — all Memorial Day it rained, and never were the citizens of our drought-stricken agricultural ‘burg so happy. We may have felt like “two blind birds,” but we returned to our nest, to our wall, to our home.



Love, we’re going home now,

where the vines clamber over the trellis:

even before you, the summer will arrive,

on its honeysuckle feet, in your bedroom.


Our nomadic kisses wandered over all the world:

Armenia, dollop of disinterred honey—:

Ceylon, green dove—:and the Yang-Tse with its old

old patience, dividing the day from the night.


And now, dearest, we return, across the crackling sea

like two blind birds to their wall,

to their nest in a distant spring:


because love cannot always fly without resting,

our lives return to the wall, to the rocks of the sea:

our kisses head back home where they belong.


~ Pablo Neruda


Your turn.



  1. I do love reading Neruda. I’d like to read his poetry in Spanish.

    • Prasanta (and anyone else who’s interested):

      Amor, ahora nos vamos a la casa
      donde la enredadera sube por las escalas:
      antes que llegues tu llego a tu dormitorio
      el verano desnudo con pies de madreselva.

      Nuestros besos errantes recorrieron el mundo:
      Armenia, espesa gota de miel desenterrada,
      Ceylan, paloma verda, y el Yang Tse separando
      con antigua paciencia lod dias de las noches.

      Y ahora, bienamada, por el mar crepitante
      volvemos como dos aves ciegas al muro,
      al nido de la lejana primavera,

      porque el amor no puede volar sin detenerse:
      al muro o a las piedras del mar van nuestras vidas,
      a nuestro territorio regresaron los besos.

  2. I’ve never read Neruda, though I read/hear a lot about him. Like Prasanta, I think I’d like to give in a try in his native tongue. I see some is available online As for this poem, I dearly love the last stanza. Love that is content to be at rest is a special kind of love.

  3. I need to learn Spanish. I love that last stanza.

    And I’m still in awe that your dad got to meet Neruda.