Thursday, 16 April 2015

N is for Nonpareil...and Names....and Neruda

Neruda, Pablo (1904-1973)

Neruda was a Chilean poet, political activist, and a diplomat, he wrote in Spanish - some of the most hauntingly erotic love poetry ever written. Many critics feel that he is one of the greatest poets of the twentieth century in any language. Neruda was a pseudonym the poet initially assumed to protect his family who did not approve of poetry, and I still remember being a little shocked when I first came to know that, the name Neruda was so inextricably linked to his words in my (much younger) mind, a rose wasn't a rose by any other name for me back then :) 

Here I am responding to his poem Don't go far off.

No excuse

Go where you like, beloved, my heart’s steadfast
in your love and in the knowledge of yours;
the time for holding on is long past
travel beyond my threshold and to new shores.

I still cannot handle farewells too well
I still don’t know the right words for leave-taking;
at each departure space and time unravel
and even now the clock hands are shaking -

Go safe, stay well however long your trip.
And however far you go come back to me.
But I won’t say that, keep it less dramatic,
less clingy; studied offhand, ordinary.

Because anguish is no excuse to curb a wish
And love can watch all silhouettes diminish.

The argument here is one of those perennial unsolvable puzzles, is love all about holding close or is it about letting go? Is letting go an indication of a weak or strong bond, confidence or callousness? Does love desire proximity, to see and touch the beloved? Or is love content in the happiness of its beloved, even at the cost of its own? 

Have you ever been shocked to find out a writer's real name because the pseudonym fitted better than the real one? Another one I remember where I had the same reaction was James Herriot. :)


Posted for the A-Z Challenge 2015


  1. I think I'm more for holding on.
    I know several authors here online that use fake last names or whole name. I tend to find out through email exchanges.

  2. Hi Nila - I like the idea of Neruda's works ... one day I must check him out more ... we should be free, while still involved ... otherwise we loose ourselves .. I hate being tied.

    Yes I know a few bloggers whose names are different .. and I get so used to the blogger's name and not their real one ...

    Elton John's name is better than his real one .. Reginald Kenneth Dwight ... cheers Hilary

  3. Love s a puzzle for me...........

  4. I have a book of Neruda's love poetry and follow a man on FB who quotes him a lot. I think love is both of these things, not just one or the other. For me, when I read this I thought of when my children left home. Whenever I see them, it is always hard to leave them, even though I know they are doing well and fine without me always there. Lisa, co-host AtoZ 2015, @

  5. We had Neruda in our Introduction to Poetry class last year. Quite intense and fascinating.

  6. I didn't know about Neruda's name. I'm glad I stopped in and learned this. How sad for him or perhaps it was freeing? We all do what we must.

  7. Fell a little behind, but catching up. Such great poetry you're sharing here. I would hold on myself. Never could figure out the letting go thing. :)

  8. This reads so much like the man I am in love with. There is a struggle to patronize someone, but letting someone stay wild is real love...
    Thanks for sharing.
    Do stop by >>

  9. I'm not very familiar wth poetry, but I read this several times, because it resonated with me. I liked it a lot, thank you for writing it.

  10. I'm usually not a big poetry reader, but I found this lovely. It made me want to read more. Cheers - Ellen


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