“Don’t go far off” -A poem by Pablo Neruda

Don’t go far off, not even for a day, be­cause –
be­cause – I don’t know how to say it: a day is long
and I will be wait­ing for you, as in an emp­ty sta­tion
when the trains are parked off some­where else, asleep.

Don’t leave me, even for an hour, be­cause
then the lit­tle drops of an­guish will all run to­geth­er,
the smoke that roams look­ing for a home will drift
in­to me, chok­ing my lost heart.

Oh, may your sil­hou­ette nev­er dis­solve on the beach;
may your eye­lids nev­er flut­ter in­to the emp­ty dis­tance.
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?

I love Neru­da’s po­ems for the fresh­ness of his im­ages. and the de­light­ful vis­ual pic­tures they draw. Love the sleep­ing train ,parked off some­where else with the trav­el­er wait­ing in an emp­ty sta­tion. The beloved has gone far off but not re­al­ly far off but may be for a day, which is not quite far off in time ex­cept for the seem­ing­ly in­ter­minable wait­ing it en­tails. Like the sleep­ing train parked off else­where, while one is wait­ing for the train in an emp­ty sta­tion. The beloved goes off for a day or may be more but the wait­ing makes it ap­pear as if she has gone off for a long time or for ev­er. Like the train parked off else­where.

Dont go far off,even for a day,says the lover.Like the train parked off ele­se­where.Be­cause I will be wait­ing for you and the day is long. The day is long when one is wait­ing ,even­though the day is like any oth­er day. Like the train parked off else­where with the pas­sen­ger wait­ing in the emp­ty sta­tion with the knowl­edge that the train will not ar­rive any time.

In the sec­ond stan­za the day be­comes an hour be­cause one has al­ready wait­ed enough and ev­ery new hour brings fresh en­nui.  The tears are ex­pe­ri­enced in the com­pres­sion of an hour, all at a time. The smoke that hov­ers in the sky look­ing for a home drifts in­to the lover be­cause he is where it is eas­i­ly con­densed in­to a rain of tears.

May her sil­hou­ette not dis­solve against the set­ting sun as she is go­ing away from him for a day or even for an hour.Be­cause if she dis­solves on the beach she may not re­turn soon­er nor be­fore the night­fall when the beach shall van­ish in­to the night.

In the third stan­za the ab­sence has changed to a mo­ment , from the hour of the sec­ond stan­za and the day of the first stan­za. As the ab­sence grows the wait­ing be­comes more and more un­bear­able and the beloved shall not go off even for a mo­ment. Be­cause in that mo­ment the lover will wan­der mazi­ly over the earth,ask­ing “will you come back,will you leave me here, dy­ing?