Evening view of the mountains in Chile

Leaning into the Afternoons, A Poem by Pablo Neruda

Pablo Neruda, author of “Leaning into the Afternoons”, was born July 12, was a Lois Level Spotlight Poet in July, 2021. Search Pablo Neruda for more about this wonderful poet.

Leaning into the Afternoons
Leaning into the afternoons I cast my sad nets 
towards your oceanic eyes.
There in the highest blaze my solitude lengthens
and flames,
its arms turning like a drowning man's.
I send out red signals across your absent eyes
that move like the sea near a lighthouse.
You keep only darkness, my distant female,
from your regard sometimes the coast of dread emerges.
Leaning into the afternoons I flign my sad nets
to that sea that beats on your marine eyes.
The birds of night peck at the first stars
that flash like my soul when I love you.
The night gallops on its shadowy mare shedding blue tassels over the land.

Read more poems by Pablo Neruda:

Read this poem and more in Pablo Neruda‘s seminal collection, Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair.

A Response “Leaning into the Afternoons”

Note: Always read the poem and think about what it means to you before reading or discussing it with anyone else! All literature, but especially poetry, is meant to be personal!

Last week, I spent several days camping at a rather remote beach. By the late afternoon, I would be hot and tired after the sun beating down all day, and I would sort of be ready for night to fall.

When I finally lay down in my tent each night, I would watch the stars as they started to appear, and that’s how I fell asleep.

As I read this poem, I thought again of those nights, lying in the dark, and staring at the heavens so far away, seemingly so eternal but actually so elusive.

We don’t understand the feelings that we have anymore than we understand the universe; maybe that’s why one makes such a good metaphor for the other.

Other Poems by Pablo Neruda featured on The Lois Level:

I Remember You As You Were

We Have Lost Even

1 thought on “Leaning into the Afternoons, A Poem by Pablo Neruda”

  1. Pingback: The Song of Despair, a poem by Pablo Neruda - The Lois Level

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