Faeries, Goddesses, Spirit-Stars Poetry Friday Reading Themes

[Poetry Friday] The Moon and Stars in Pablo Neruda’s Poetry

poetry friday

Myra here.

I am glad to join this week’s Poetry Friday once more. Our lovely host this week is the beautiful and scrumptious Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup.

We have just recently launched our new bimonthly theme: Goddesses, Fairies, Spirit-Stars, and Celestial Beings.

Widget courtesy of the ever-talented Iphigene.
Widget courtesy of the ever-talented Iphigene.

As Fats, Iphigene and I were discussing our current theme, we were a bit dismayed to discover that there are not as many ‘light’-themed stories as compared to monsters, beasts, and creatures of darkness (which we have just featured quite recently). Since our research has not yielded as much books as we would like, we thought of expanding our theme to include heavenly bodies, such as the moon, the stars, the aurora borealis if you may. So do expect quite a number of moon-themed poetry from us, and we would welcome any suggestions you may have (poems, books-in-verse) that are in keeping with angels, deities, faeries, amulets, white elementals, charms to ward off demons, light to ensnare darknesses, the moon and stars, and so on and so forth. We’re all about radiance and pixie glitter in the coming weeks, poetry-loving friends.

To start with, let me share a few moon-and-star themed poems created by the lover of la luna himself, Pablo Neruda. Most of these I am sure you are already deeply familiar with, so I hope it makes you smile and remember lost loves, and failed romances, and the strange stirrings you feel as you view the moon and stars alone from your bedroom window.

A much younger Pablo Neruda.
A much younger Pablo Neruda.

If You Forget Me by Pablo Neruda

I want you to know
one thing.

You know how this is:
if I look
at the crystal moon, at the red branch
of the slow autumn at my window,
if I touch
near the fire
the impalpable ash
or the wrinkled body of the log,
everything carries me to you,
as if everything that exists,
aromas, light, metals,
were little boats
that sail
toward those isles of yours that wait for me.

Well, now,
if little by little you stop loving me
I shall stop loving you, little by little.

If suddenly
you forget me,
do not look for me,
for I shall already have forgotten you.

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.

if each day,
each hour,
you feel that you are destined for me
with implacable sweetness,
if each day a flower
climbs up to your lips to seek me,
ah my love, ah my own,
in me all that fire is repeated,
in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten,
my love feeds on your love, beloved,
and as long as you live it will be in your arms
without leaving mine.

Tonight I Can Write… by Pablo Neruda

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.

Write for example, “The night is shattered
and the blue stars shiver in the distance.”

The night wind revolves in the sky and sings.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
I loved her,
and sometimes she loved me too.

Through nights like this one, I held her in my arms.
I kissed her again and again under the endless sky.

She loved me, sometimes I loved her too.
How could one not have loved her great still eyes.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
To think that I do not have her.
To feel that I have lost her.

To hear the immense night,
still more immense without her.
And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture.

What does it matter that my love could not keep her.
The night is shattered
and she is not with me.

This is all.
In the distance someone is singing.
In the distance.
My soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

My sight searches for her as though to go to her.
My heart looks for her,
and she is not with me.

The same night whitening the same trees.
We, of that time, are no longer the same.

I no longer love her, that’s certain,
but how I loved her.
My voice tried to find the wind to touch her hearing.

Another’s. She will be another’s.
Like my kisses before.
Her bright body.
Her infinite eyes.

I no longer love her, that’s certain,
but maybe I love her.
Love is so short,
forgetting is so long.

Because through nights like this one I held her in my arms
my soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

Thought this be the last pain that she makes me suffer
and these the last verses that I write for her.

I Like for you to be still by Pablo Neruda

I like for you to be still: it is as though you were absent,
and you hear me from far away and my voice does not touch you.
It seems as though your eyes had flown away
and it seems that a kiss had sealed your mouth.

As all things are filled with my soul
you emerge from the things, filled with my soul.
You are like my soul, a butterfly of dream,
and you are like the word Melancholy.

I like for you to be still, and you seem far away.
It sounds as though you were lamenting, a butterfly cooing like a dove.
And you hear me from far away, and my voice does not reach you:
Let me come to be still in your silence.


And let me talk to you with your silence
that is bright as a lamp, simple as a ring.
You are like the night, with its stillness and constellations.
Your silence is that of a star, as remote and candid.

I like for you to be still: it is as though you were absent,
distant and full of sorrow as though you had died.
One word then, one smile, is enough.
And I am happy, happy that it’s not true.

*** Video ads other readers may find at the bottom of this post are NOT endorsed by GatheringBooks but are randomly included by WordPress to maintain their site. ***

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

15 comments on “[Poetry Friday] The Moon and Stars in Pablo Neruda’s Poetry

  1. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the third one, Myra, but all three are lovely, of course. I like “If each day a flower”, the way it goes on to tell that all will be all right. Thank you for these. I’ll look for ‘moon’ books!


  2. Pingback: the poetry friday roundup is here! | Jama's Alphabet Soup

  3. Sigh, swoon. . . “Love is so short, forgetting is so long.” All lovely, but “Tonight I Can Write” is my favorite. Thanks for this beautiful poetic richness today. Hadn’t read any Neruda for awhile so this was a real treat.


  4. Heidi Mordhorst

    Well, I just don’t know as much Neruda as I thought, because I didn’t remember reading any of these! So thanks for that, and for the photos, which were also enlightening.


  5. So, so beautiful…and the narrations were a joy to listen to over and over again. Thank you, Myra.


  6. Love Neruda, as always. I wanted to help you find goddesses and fairies, so I found this: http://www.fairytalemagazine.com/ — it has links in the right column to other magazines which you might want to explore. Goblin Fruit, for instance, has poetry.


  7. I love Neruda!


  8. Oh my… what a spell he weaves with his repeating lines and circling back to thoughts, looking at them from one direction and another. His poems are like music!


  9. The romance that flows from his pen is rich and palpable. I love your new theme and look forward to whatever you find… underneath the full moon or elsewhere.


  10. Wow. Gorgeous. Thank you. I hadn’t read these before.


  11. Wow. Just wow. “And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture.” Such an amazing poet!


  12. I agree–wow! And his voice reading those sad, sad lines is just heart-rending.


  13. Such longing — what it is about the moon that produces poetry? Thanks for sharing these. I’ve jotted down “faeiries, radiance, pixie glitter” in hopes of creating something in line with your theme!


  14. You make a good point, Myra. There’s more spooky-ooky creature poetry than beings of light. Maybe that’s why I was so taken with the selection from Mei-mei Berssenbrugge’s poem “Fairies” that appeared at Poets.Org recently. Here’s the link. Let me know what you think. http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/23694


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