5 Most Famous Poems by Pablo Neruda

Updated on April 22, 2019
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I am a professor of Serbian language and literature. From early ages, I was fond of writing. My favorite poet is Pablo Neruda.

Do you enjoy reading the poems? If you are an emotional person, Neruda’s poetry is the right choice for you. These 5 most famous poems by Pablo Neruda will make you cry. Four of them are love poems.

Who Was Pablo Neruda?

Ricardo Reyes Basoalto was born in a small town in central Chile in 1904. He died of leukemia in Santiago in 1973.

He was known as Pablo Neruda, which was his pen name. As we all know, he was a famous Chilean poet and politician.

He started to write poetry when he was only ten years old. His father didn’t approve his literary ambitions, but luckily, he met the Chilean poet Gabriela Mistral who encouraged his writing talent.

His writing started appearing in the magazines. In 1920, he published poems in the magazine Selva Austral, using his pen name because he didn't want to argue with his father.

When he was 19 years old, his poetry collection “Twenty Love Poems” and “A Song of Despair” made him famous. He succeeded to sell over millions of this collection.

Neruda won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971. The novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez once called him "the greatest poet of the 20th century in any language."

Neruda was the most famous of his poetry. Each of his books has a unique style.

5 Most Famous Poems

Neruda's love poetry is tender, melancholy, passionate and breathtaking. He wrote a lot of beautiful poems, but I have chosen the most famous and the most beautiful of them. The great news is that some of them you can dedicate to your special someone.

1. Tonight I Can Write The Saddest Lines

This is a poem about deep sadness. A poet felt depressed because he is alone. You really must read this wonderful poem.

Night can present darkness, sadness, emotions, and romance. At night we think about something that tortures us. Our poet imagines his lover. They broke up, and he feels deep pain. He asks himself if they loved each other or everything was only an imagination.

That night is immense without her. He couldn’t keep her. She has gone, but he still can’t accept it. It is hard to forget someone you love. You feel like your lover is still with you. You remember everything you passed through together. The poet wants to forget her, and he is trying to convince himself he doesn’t love her anymore.

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

These are the last emotional verses. The poet looks decisive. He might not write about his lover anymore, but it doesn’t mean he will forget her.

"Love is so short, forgetting is so long."

— Pablo Neruda

2. Don’t Be Far Off

This is one more love poem. Our poet can’t live without his lover not even for a day. One day is long without someone you love.

If you tried to describe your deepest feelings, you would know how hard it is. The poet uses gradation to describe his feelings:

Don't go far off, not even for a day,

Don't leave me, even for an hour,

Don't leave me for a second.

The last verses are a good try of describing feelings. Our poet thinks he will die without his lover. His life has no sense without her.

Don't leave me for a second, my dearest,

because in that moment you'll have gone so far
I'll wander mazily over all the earth, asking,
Will you come back? Will you leave me here, dying?

3. When I Die

"When I Die" is an emotional love poem. As we can see, the poet likes writing about death. When he tries to describe his feelings, he usually mentions dying. We all sometimes say that "we will die without someone we love". Are we sincere or just trying to describe our feelings? Is this hyperbola?

The poet wants his lover to remember him after his death. His last wish is to feel her hands one more time. She was the reason for his happiness. He wants her to go on living after his death because he loves her very much. She was the reason for his song, too.

4. Die Slowly

Memorable lines:

He who does not travel, who does not read,
who does not listen to music,
who does not find grace in himself,
she who does not find grace in herself,
dies slowly.

In this inspirational poem Neruda writes about the importance of living a full life. What we can learn from the poem? We all should follow our dreams. We should take a risk and change all bad habits.

As long as we are stuck in our comfort zone, we are not growing. If you want to live a full life, you should be more open to the new experiences. Someone who is not capable of taking a risk and changing routines - dies slowly. Life stuck in a comfort zone is not a full life, it is just the breathing. We should never forget that we live only once.

We must be better tomorrow than we are now. Self-growing should never stop.

It is never late to be better and happier. It is never late to start living life with purpose. What are you waiting for?

Change yourself. Change your life. Don't waste your time. Time never will come back.

"Being alive requires an effort far greater than the simple fact of breathing."

— Pablo Neruda

5. Here I love you

Memorable lines:

Sometimes I get up early and even my soul is wet.
Far away the sea sounds and resounds.
This is a port.

Here I love you.
Here I love you and the horizon hides you in vain.
I love you still among these cold things.
Sometimes my kisses go on those heavy vessels
that cross the sea towards no arrival.
I see myself forgotten like those old anchors.

Neruda imagines kissing her lover, but she is not there. She is far away in another world. He passionately recalls the sweet moments he spent in her company.

Now he is traveling alone. He feels like he is alone in the world. His life has no purpose without her. Very sad.


If you like these 5 most famous poems by Pablo Neruda, you will also like his other poems. Read them and tell me your opinion about them.

Which Neruda's poem is the best?

See results

Questions & Answers


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      • profile image

        DIANNE B 

        8 days ago

        A great site. Thank you!

      • profile image


        10 days ago

        Love writings of neruda.

      • profile image

        Trisha Das 

        3 months ago


      • profile image

        Jeremiah jones 

        3 months ago


      • profile image


        4 months ago

        Very fine

      • profile image


        11 months ago

        "Die Slowly" is not written by Neruda; it's a fake; as a quick Google will ascertain.

      • profile image


        13 months ago



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