Despair Poems - Poems For Despair

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A Song Of Despair - Poem by Pablo Neruda

The memory of you emerges from the night around me.
The river mingles its stubborn lament with the sea.

Deserted like the wharves at dawn.
It is the hour of departure, oh deserted one!

Cold flower heads are raining over my heart.
Oh pit of debris, fierce cave of the shipwrecked.

In you the wars and the flights accumulated.
From you the wings of the song birds rose.

You swallowed everything, like distance.
Like the sea, like time. In you everything sank!

It was the happy hour of assault and the kiss.
The hour of the spell that blazed like a lighthouse.

Pilot's dread, fury of blind driver,
turbulent drunkenness of love, in you everything sank!

In the childhood of mist my soul, winged and wounded.
Lost discoverer, in you everything sank!

You girdled sorrow, you clung to desire,
sadness stunned you, in you everything sank!

I made the wall of shadow draw back,
beyond desire and act, I walked on.

Oh flesh, my own flesh, woman whom I loved and lost,
I summon you in the moist hour, I raise my song to you.

Like a jar you housed infinite tenderness.
and the infinite oblivion shattered you like a jar.

There was the black solitude of the islands,
and there, woman of love, your arms took me in.

There was thirst and hunger, and you were the fruit.
There were grief and ruins, and you were the miracle.

Ah woman, I do not know how you could contain me
in the earth of your soul, in the cross of your arms!

How terrible and brief my desire was to you!
How difficult and drunken, how tensed and avid.

Cemetery of kisses, there is still fire in your tombs,
still the fruited boughs burn, pecked at by birds.

Oh the bitten mouth, oh the kissed limbs,
oh the hungering teeth, oh the entwined bodies.

Oh the mad coupling of hope and force
in which we merged and despaired.

And the tenderness, light as water and as flour.
And the word scarcely begun on the lips.

This was my destiny and in it was my voyage of my longing,
and in it my longing fell, in you everything sank!

Oh pit of debris, everything fell into you,
what sorrow did you not express, in what sorrow are you not drowned!

From billow to billow you still called and sang.
Standing like a sailor in the prow of a vessel.

You still flowered in songs, you still brike the currents.
Oh pit of debris, open and bitter well.

Pale blind diver, luckless slinger,
lost discoverer, in you everything sank!

It is the hour of departure, the hard cold hour
which the night fastens to all the timetables.

The rustling belt of the sea girdles the shore.
Cold stars heave up, black birds migrate.

Deserted like the wharves at dawn.
Only tremulous shadow twists in my hands.

Oh farther than everything. Oh farther than everything.

It is the hour of departure. Oh abandoned one!

Comments about A Song Of Despair by Pablo Neruda

  • Kessa 11/6/2019 6:33:00 AM

    A Waterfall of tears scapes through the windows of my soul. A heartwrenching poem but a must keep Reply

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  • pablo 2/26/2019 2:22:00 PM

    si sabe como escribir muy buenas canciones o que dicien _ he knows how to write the best poems and song don't he Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • Unnikrishnan E S 10/8/2018 12:14:00 AM

    If a translation is this sagacious and tormenting, what what would the original Spanish poem would do, If only I could read Spanish! Reply

    1 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Leela chatterjee 7/11/2018 4:51:00 AM

    A song of despair. He feels abandoned at the time of departure. Reply

    1 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Frank_Arado 5/3/2018 2:12:00 AM

    You still flowered in songs, you still brike the currents
    Its broke, you still broke the currents
    Reply

    0 person liked.
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  • Fabrizio Frosini 11/25/2015 6:17:00 AM

    I fell in love with this poem the very first time I read it, in my teens.. It was an Italian translation (a very good one, indeed) , but I was curious to 'feel' the musicality of the original text.. I was lucky and found the book '' Veinte poemas de amor y una canción desesperada''.. wow.. in Spanish it is simply wonderful! And Neruda was barely 19 (or younger) when he wrote it! Reply

    11 person liked.
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  • Fabrizio Frosini 11/24/2015 3:38:00 AM

    LA CANCIÓN DESESPERADA
    EMERGE tu recuerdo de la noche en que estoy.
    El río anuda al mar su lamento obstinado.

    Abandonado como los muelles en el alba.
    Es la hora de partir, oh abandonado!

    Sobre mi corazón llueven frías corolas.
    Oh sentina de escombros, feroz cueva de náufragos!

    En ti se acumularon las guerras y los vuelos.
    De ti alzaron las alas los pájaros del canto.

    Todo te lo tragaste, como la lejanía.
    Como el mar, como el tiempo. Todo en ti fue
    naufragio!

    Era la alegre hora del asalto y el beso.
    La hora del estupor que ardía como un faro.

    Ansiedad de piloto, furia de buzo ciego,
    turbia embriaguez de amor, todo en ti fue naufragio!

    En la infancia de niebla mi alma alada y herida.
    Descubridor perdido, todo en ti fue naufragio!

    Te ceñiste al dolor, te agarraste al deseo.
    Te tumbó la tristeza, todo en ti fue naufragio!

    Hice retroceder la muralla de sombra,
    anduve más allá del deseo y del acto.

    Oh carne, carne mía, mujer que amé y perdí,
    a ti en esta hora húmeda, evoco y hago canto.

    Como un vaso albergaste la infinita ternura,
    y el infinito olvido te trizó como a un vaso.

    Era la negra, negra soledad de las islas,
    y allí, mujer de amor, me acogieron tus brazos.

    Era la sed y el hambre, y tú fuiste la fruta.
    Era el duelo y las ruinas, y tú fuiste el milagro.

    Ah mujer, no sé cómo pudiste contenerme
    en la tierra de tu alma, y en la cruz de tus brazos!

    Mi deseo de ti fue el más terrible y corto,
    el más revuelto y ebrio, el más tirante y ávido.

    Cementerio de besos, aún hay fuego en tus tumbas,
    aún los racimos arden picoteados de pájaros.

    Oh la boca mordida, oh los besados miembros,
    oh los hambrientos dientes, oh los cuerpos trenzados.

    Oh la cópula loca de esperanza y esfuerzo
    en que nos anudamos y nos desesperamos.

    Y la ternura, leve como el agua y la harina.
    Y la palabra apenas comenzada en los labios.

    Ése fue mi destino y en él viajó mi anhelo,
    y en él cayó mi anhelo, todo en ti fue naufragio!

    Oh sentina de escombros, en ti todo caía,
    qué dolor no exprimiste, qué olas no te ahogaron.

    De tumbo en tumbo aún llameaste y cantaste
    de pie como un marino en la proa de un barco.

    Aún floreciste en cantos, aún rompiste en corrientes.
    Oh sentina de escombros, pozo abierto y amargo.

    Pálido buzo ciego, desventurado hondero,
    descubridor perdido, todo en ti fue naufragio!

    Es la hora de partir, la dura y fría hora
    que la noche sujeta a todo horario.

    El cinturón ruidoso del mar ciñe la costa.
    Surgen frías estrellas, emigran negros pájaros.

    Abandonado como los muelles en el alba.
    Sólo la sombra trémula se retuerce en mis manos.

    Ah más allá de todo. Ah más allá de todo.

    Es la hora de partir. Oh abandonado!
    Reply

    15 person liked.
    4 person did not like.
  • Fabrizio Frosini 11/24/2015 3:37:00 AM

    ''Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair'' ('' Veinte poemas de amor y una canción desesperada'') : Neruda was 19 when first published the book in 1924. Reply

    13 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Kay Staley 8/26/2014 9:37:00 AM

    How nice. Its utterly sad that Pablo Neruda never learned to rhyme. Poems like his could have been memorized and truly remembered if he had any rhyme scheme at all. His writings are fun to read, but at soon as they are finished, all but the idea of them slips out of your head...with none of his beautiful left to remain. The drastical language and ironicness of the writing style is what keeps this poem in print. Reply

    12 person liked.
    32 person did not like.
  • Colleen Courtney 6/7/2014 7:10:00 AM

    It's funny how a poem of such utter despair can be written about so beautifully! Reply

    4 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
Read all 35 comments »
Despair Poems
  1. 1. A Song Of Despair
    Pablo Neruda
  2. 2. Despair
    Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  3. 3. A Meeting With Despair
    Thomas Hardy
  4. 4. The Song Of Despair
    Pablo Neruda
  5. 5. Song Of Despair
    Pablo Neruda
  6. 6. Despair
    Anne Sexton
  7. 7. In Black Despair
    Czeslaw Milosz
  8. 8. Sonnet 144: Two Loves I Have, Of Comfort..
    William Shakespeare
  9. 9. Song. Despair
    Percy Bysshe Shelley
  10. 10. The Difference Between Despair
    Emily Dickinson
  11. 11. Despair
    Percy Bysshe Shelley
  12. 12. Hope And Despair
    Lascelles Abercrombie
  13. 13. Ode To Despair
    Charlotte Smith
  14. 14. My Despair Comes And Goes
    Shalom Freedman
  15. 15. Despair
    Paul Laurence Dunbar
  16. 16. In Despair
    Constantine P. Cavafy
  17. 17. No Man Can Compass A Despair
    Emily Dickinson
  18. 18. Limerick: There Was An Old Man Whose Des..
    Edward Lear
  19. 19. But Don'T Despair
    Mark R Slaughter
  20. 20. A Song Of Despair
    VIPINS PUTHOORAN
  21. 21. On The Other Side Of Despair
    Shalom Freedman
  22. 22. The Valley Of Despair
    Patricia Grantham
  23. 23. Despair In Old Age
    Shalom Freedman
  24. 24. Thou'Rt My Hope, Thou'Rt My Despair
    Bijay Kant Dubey
  25. 25. Ode To Despair
    Mary Darby Robinson
  26. 26. Fragment: Such Hope, As Is The Sick Desp..
    Percy Bysshe Shelley
  27. 27. Skeleton Of Despair
    Maria Sudibyo
  28. 28. Despair Is Darkness
    Shalom Freedman
  29. 29. Despair Of The Early Morning
    Shalom Freedman
  30. 30. Shall I Wasting In Despair
    George Wither
  31. 31. To Reformers In Despair
    Vachel Lindsay
  32. 32. Descartes' Despair
    Paul Hartal
  33. 33. In Utter Hopelessness And Despair...
    Dr. A.Celestine Raj Manohar ..
  34. 34. Haiku- Hope And Despair
    DEEPAK KUMAR PATTANAYAK
  35. 35. The Bench Seated In Despair (After Jacqu..
    Miroslava Odalovic
  36. 36. The Song Of Despair
    Gert Strydom
  37. 37. The Despair
    Abraham Cowley
  38. 38. Sonnet: In Despair Too, Hope Prevails
    Dr. A.Celestine Raj Manohar ..
  39. 39. In Despair
    Mamta Agarwal
  40. 40. Despair Is A Bad Joke....
    RIC BASTASA
  41. 41. Haiku-Despair
    DEEPAK KUMAR PATTANAYAK
  42. 42. Despair
    Howard Phillips Lovecraft
  43. 43. Heavy, My Despair
    Paul Verlaine
  44. 44. Despair
    Dr. Yogesh Sharma
  45. 45. From 'Your' Despair I Grew Worried
    James McLain
  46. 46. Home Again To The Arms Of Despair
    RIC BASTASA
  47. 47. No One Knows The Way Out (A Poem Of One ..
    Shalom Freedman
  48. 48. From 'My' Despair
    James McLain
  49. 49. I Have Written Too Many Poems Of Despair
    Shalom Freedman
  50. 50. No One Needs A Poet Of Despair
    Shalom Freedman

New Despair Poems

  1. The Despair Of Nothing To Write/ Except .., Shalom Freedman
  2. The Hope I Prefer, The Despair I Impair, John Sensele
  3. Hope, Tribhuvan Mendiratta
  4. Out of despair for love, Jude Stéfan
  5. To Despair Of God, Shalom Freedman
  6. Oh Despair Has Come Again Understanding .., Shalom Freedman
  7. Water Cried, Emmanuel George Cefai
  8. Despair, Richard Wlodarski
  9. An Account Of Despair, With A Prophecy, Daniel Brick
  10. Future Necessity (An Excerpt), Leon Moon

Despair Poems

  1. Despair

    I have experienc'd The worst, the World can wreak on me--the worst That can make Life indifferent, yet disturb With whisper'd Discontents the dying prayer-- I have beheld the whole of all, wherein My Heart had any interest in this Life, To be disrent and torn from off my Hopes That nothing now is left. Why then live on ? That Hostage, which the world had in it's keeping Given by me as a Pledge that I would live-- That Hope of Her, say rather, that pure Faith In her fix'd Love, which held me to keep truce With the Tyranny of Life--is gone ah ! whither ? What boots it to reply ? 'tis gone ! and now Well may I break this Pact, this League of Blood That ties me to myself--and break I shall !

  2. A Meeting With Despair

    AS evening shaped I found me on a moor Which sight could scarce sustain: The black lean land, of featureless contour, Was like a tract in pain. "This scene, like my own life," I said, "is one Where many glooms abide; Toned by its fortune to a deadly dun-- Lightless on every side. I glanced aloft and halted, pleasure-caught To see the contrast there: The ray-lit clouds gleamed glory; and I thought, "There's solace everywhere!" Then bitter self-reproaches as I stood I dealt me silently As one perverse--misrepresenting Good In graceless mutiny. Against the horizon's dim-descernèd wheel A form rose, strange of mould: That he was hideous, hopeless, I could feel Rather than could behold. "'Tis a dead spot, where even the light lies spent To darkness!" croaked the Thing. "Not if you look aloft!" said I, intent On my new reasoning. "Yea--but await awhile!" he cried. "Ho-ho!-- Look now aloft and see!" I looked. There, too, sat night: Heaven's radiant show Had gone. Then chuckled he.

  3. The Song Of Despair

    You swallowed everything, like distance. Like the sea, like time. In you everything sank! It was the happy hour of assault and the kiss. The hour of the spell that blazed like a lighthouse. Pilot's dread, fury of a blind diver, turbulent drunkenness of love, in you everything sank!

  4. Song Of Despair

    The memory of you emerges from the night around me. The river mingles its stubborn lament with the sea. Deserted like the wharves at dawn. It is the hour of departure, oh deserted one! Cold flower heads are raining over my heart. Oh pit of debris, fierce cave of the shipwrecked. In you the wars and the flights accumulated. From you the wings of the song birds rose. You swallowed everything, like distance. Like the sea, like time. In you everything sank! It was the happy hour of assault and the kiss. The hour of the spell that blazed like a lighthouse. Pilot's dread, fury of blind driver, turbulent drunkenness of love, in you everything sank! In the childhood of mist my soul, winged and wounded. Lost discoverer, in you everything sank! You girdled sorrow, you clung to desire, sadness stunned you, in you everything sank! I made the wall of shadow draw back, beyond desire and act, I walked on. Oh flesh, my own flesh, woman whom I loved and lost, I summon you in the moist hour, I raise my song to you. Like a jar you housed infinite tenderness. and the infinite oblivion shattered you like a jar. There was the black solitude of the islands, and there, woman of love, your arms took me in. There was thirst and hunger, and you were the fruit. There were grief and ruins, and you were the miracle. Ah woman, I do not know how you could contain me in the earth of your soul, in the cross of your arms! How terrible and brief my desire was to you! How difficult and drunken, how tensed and avid. Cemetery of kisses, there is still fire in your tombs, still the fruited boughs burn, pecked at by birds. Oh the bitten mouth, oh the kissed limbs, oh the hungering teeth, oh the entwined bodies. Oh the mad coupling of hope and force in which we merged and despaired. And the tenderness, light as water and as flour. And the word scarcely begun on the lips. This was my destiny and in it was my voyage of my longing, and in it my longing fell, in you everything sank! Oh pit of debris, everything fell into you, what sorrow did you not express, in what sorrow are you not drowned! From billow to billow you still called and sang. Standing like a sailor in the prow of a vessel. You still flowered in songs, you still brike the currents. Oh pit of debris, open and bitter well. Pale blind diver, luckless slinger, lost discoverer, in you everything sank! It is the hour of departure, the hard cold hour which the night fastens to all the timetables. The rustling belt of the sea girdles the shore. Cold stars heave up, black birds migrate. Deserted like the wharves at dawn. Only tremulous shadow twists in my hands. Oh farther than everything. Oh farther than everything. It is the hour of departure. Oh abandoned one!