Me gustas cuando callas porque estas como ausente,

I already posted one of Pablo Neruda’s political, engaged poems (see blog post from October 14th)., but he is also very well known for his love poetry. Today we have an example from his early (1920s, I think) collection of love poems, 20 Love Poems and 1 Song of Despair. The collection wonderfully captures the roller coaster of sensations, emotions, triumphs and disappointments of being in love, and has probably inspired many lovers over the years. This is love poem number 15.

Pablo Neruda

Me Gustas Cuando Callas

Me gustas cuando callas porque estas como ausente,
y me oyes desde lejos, y mi voz no te toca.
Parece que los ojos se te hubieran volado
y parece que un beso te cerrara la boca.

Como todas las cosas estan llenas de mi alma
emerges de las cosas, llena del alma mia.
Mariposa de sueno, te pareces a mi alma,
y te pareces a la palabra melancolia.

Me gustas cuando callas y estas como distante.
Y estas como quejandote, mariposa en arrullo.
Y me oyes desde lejos, y mi voz no te alcanza:
dejame que me calle con el silencio tuyo.

Dejame que te hable tambien con tu silencio
claro como una lampara, simple como un anillo.
Eres como la noche, callada y constelada.
Tu silencio es de estrella, tan lejano y sencillo.

Me gustas cuando callas porque estas como ausente.
Distante y dolorosa como si hubieras muerto.
Una palabra entonces, una sonrisa bastan.
Y estoy alegre, alegre de que no sea cierto.


From <;

I like this particular poem as it conveys the mood of two lovers who do not need to speak to know the presence and strength of their love, keeping together while allowing each other the space for introspection and detachment in silence. The peacefulness of togetherness in silence resonates with real experience. Silence becomes a form of communication and the poet feels he is able to communicate his innermost soul and feelings to his loved one, as they sit in silence. There is a deeper, more profound connection than when they are using normal conversation.

The last stanza echoes the first, with the repetition of the first line, but this is to take the meaning even deeper – silence could be like death, but it opens the possibility of happiness through a smile or a brief word from the loved one. It allows the true togetherness of love.

The Poetry Dude


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