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Tonight I Write by Pablo Neruda

This is one of my favorite poems of all time from a man who understands heartache. Tell me you can’t relate to some of his lines, the hesitation of letting go entirely, the love that transcends possession, the occasional jealousy. This is about as good as it comes.

It appears on the soundtrack for “Il Postino” and is read by Andy Garcia, who does a wonderful rendition. I hope you enjoy.

Tonight I Write

by Pablo Neruda

I can write the saddest poem of all tonight.
Write, for instance: “The night is full of stars,and the stars, blue, shiver in the distance.”
The night wind whirls in the sky and sings.

I can write the saddest poem of all tonight.

I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.
On nights like this, I held her in my arms.

I kissed her so many times under the infinite sky.
She loved me, sometimes I loved her.

How could I not have loved her large, still eyes?
I can write the saddest poem of all tonight.

To think I don’t have her. To feel that I’ve lost her.
To hear the immense night, more immense without her.

And the poem falls to the soul as dew to grass.

What does it matter that my love couldn’t keep her.

The night is full of stars and she is not with me.
That’s all.

Far away, someone sings. Far away.

My soul is lost without her.
As if to bring her near, my eyes search for her.

My heart searches for her and she is not with me.

The same night that whitens the same trees.

We, we who were, we are the same no longer.
I no longer love her, true, but how much I loved her.

My voice searched the wind to touch her ear.

Someone else’s. She will be someone else’s. As she once

belonged to my kisses.

Her voice, her light body. Her infinite eyes.

I no longer love her, true, but perhaps I love her.

Love is so short and forgetting is so long.
Because on nights like this I held her in my arms,

my soul is lost without her.

Although this may be the last pain she causes me,

and this may be the last poem I write for her.
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About Author

My name is Michael Sean Gallagher. I am a Lecturer in Digital Education at the Centre for Research in Digital Education at the University of Edinburgh. I am Co-Founder and Director of Panoply Digital, a consultancy dedicated to ICT and mobile for development (M4D); we have worked with USAID, GSMA, UN Habitat, Cambridge University and more on education and development projects. I was a researcher on the Near Futures Teaching project, a project that explores how teaching at The University of Edinburgh unfold over the coming decades, as technology, social trends, patterns of mobility, new methods and new media continue to shift what it means to be at university. Previously, I was the Research Associate on the NERC, ESRC, and AHRC Global Challenges Research Fund sponsored GCRF Research for Emergency Aftershock Forecasting (REAR) project. I was an Assistant Professor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (한국외국어대학교) in Seoul, Korea. I have also completed a doctorate at University College London (formerly the independent Institute of Education, University of London) on mobile learning in the humanities in Korea.

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