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Visitors' Comments about:

Tonight I Can Write

Pablo Neruda

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2003-12-17
Added by: Amber
For the second and third lines, starry is actually "more correct" of a translation than shattered--the original spanish says "'La noche estŠ estrellada,/y tiritan, azules, los astros, a lo lejos.'"
to any confused people
2003-12-11
Added by: sara s
ya i think this poem is better...omg..okay but the way its different is becuz it used more fluent words its almost the same but if u look closely, they spent more time translating this poem. u got to see it with ur eyes to understand the difference. even one word can cause it to give it another meanin

*Baby S
Tonite I can write
2004-01-06
Added by: AJ GAlvin
THis is the first poem to touch my soul. Anyone who has ever even thought they have been in love can relate to this poem. I for one, feel Neruda with every unsheathed letter of his words and pray that other feel the same.
shattered vs starry
2004-02-07
Added by: hella
I do not profess knowledge in poetry or spanish,

however think that translation using shattered instead of starry
does change the mood of the piece.
listening to Neruda poetry
2004-06-02
Added by: Ginger
You can find a reading by Andy Garcia of this poem on the soundtrack of "Il Postino". The reading uses the "shattered" version of the second and third line. There are 15 poems by Neruda on the soundtrack read by several popular artists. I love everything I have read.
translation
2004-11-18
Added by: visitor
For anyone who has any spanish competence I strongly recommend the original, untranslated version... entitled "Poema 20" from "Veinte Poemas de Amor y un Cancion Desesperada." Every translation I have found, this one included, grossly butchers a number of the lines... translating them to things that must have seemed better to the translators but detract from the meaning of Neruda's piece. For those of you without spanish competence, all I can say is you're missing a lot. Neruda may have been described as a poet whose work crosses language barriers, but in this case atleast, his work is best left in his native tongue.
2004-12-12
Added by: jammygrl08
yeah, i agree rudr .. theres somethin magical about this poem..even if its one of the saddest poem, it delights me when i read it... makes me feel better
starry / shattered
2005-01-24
Added by: Krystal
For those that say it should be translated "shattered" instead of "starry"... should it also be "shattered" in line 16? ["The night is starry and she is not with me."]
For those that have read it in Spanish - is "estrellada" used there in line 16 as well?
nerudian
2005-02-08
Added by: jomel
The first time i heard this poem, i felt . . . love. TO me, it doesn't matter wether you have or have not experience deeply in love, just by hearing or reading this poem creates a path deep inside you and takes you to the place and time where it is originally being felt. It may be a sad poem, but it makes me smile knowing that people are capable of loving as such. Just continue LOVING.
2005-02-18
Added by: Alberto
I truly feel that Merwin's translation has some flaws (although most of it is pretty accurate). As someone who reads Pablo Neruda's Poema XX quite frequently (among others of the Veinte Poemas...), I believe that this might be closer to Neruda's intent:

I can write the saddest verses tonight.

Write, for example: ďThe night is starry,
and the blue stars shiver in the distance.Ē

The night wind spins in the sky and sings.

I can write the saddest verses tonight.
I loved her, and at times she also loved me.

On nights like this I held her in my arms.
I kissed her so many times under the infinite sky.

She loved me, at times I also loved her.
How could one not love her great still eyes.

I can write the saddest verses tonight.
To think that I donít have her. To feel that I have lost her.

To hear the immense night, more immense without her.
And the verse falls onto the soul like the dew onto the grass.

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

Thatís all. In the distance someone sings. In the distance.
My soul is not content having lost her.

As though to bring her closer my sight seeks her.
My heart seeks her, and she is not with me.

The same night that whitens the same trees.
We, of then, are no longer the same.

I no longer love her, itís true, but how I loved her.
My voice sought the wind to touch her hear.

Anotherís. She will be anotherís. As of my kisses before.
Her voice, her light-colored body. Her infinite eyes.

I no longer love her, itís true, but perhaps I love her.
Love is so short, and oblivion is so long.

Because on nights like this I held her in my arms,
My soul is not content having lost her.


Although this be the last sorrow that she causes me,
and these be the last verses that I write her.

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