I can’t name things

I can’t name things short poem

I can’t name things.

I can’t tell, with some mighty confidence,

this is this or that is that.

You tell me of love.

but, I have known too many loves.

blue love, green love, red love, even yellow love.

I can’t name things, not with words.

Show me a poet who has captured in his words

the fragrance of a flower, the heart of a woman

or this fervour of love?

(Is it a butterfly when it hangs by a thread?)

My love, life can’t be caged in words.

What words can possibly explain

the curls of your hair, the strength of your kisses

and all this smell you leave behind?

With what words, do you want to fill all those beautiful silences?

And why cling to words

when you are close enough to hear the heartbeats?

And what can words say that kisses can’t?

My love, the truth is, anything that is worth saying can’t be said.

When I am with you, every now and then,

a song fills me from within.

What would you call that?

When I am with you,

there are no fathers,

there are no mothers,

there are no clocks or cockerels.

Nothing, nothing exists,

but your breath and mine.

Nothing, nothing moves,

but those invisible pendulums

that swing between your heart and mine.

What would you call that?

Let’s just say that life is larger than words

and love is sweeter than poetry.

Let’s just say that, my love.

There are too many flowers

that have wilted at the touch of words.

There are too many loves

that have died for the want of a name.

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Balaji Gopalan

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I owe all of my poetry to the influence of Pablo Neruda. Reading him 10 years ago on the beaches of Goa, gave me the permission to be who I am and write what I feel. My poetry has never been the same after that. All that I write is an offering to Neruda.
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8 Comments on "I can’t name things"

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Lolo Pookie

I am love with this one. <3

Lolo Pookie

And it reminds me of Neruda’s poetry. 🙂

Lolo Pookie

So am I! His poetry is the reason why I started writing poetry myself. 🙂

Pallavi Banerjee

I totally loved this one…one of the best on this site

Daniel Brick

Yes I have something to say! This is a remarkable paean to poetry and to love. And part of what makes me like this poem so well is that poetry and love are treated as equally worthy of praise. You express doubts about WORDS, because they might not be equal to the tasks of expressing the truth of your love. And your immediate need is for words to persuade and convince the woman at the center of this poem that your EMOTIONS are good and true. Your solution is to unleash a flood of words, so that the sheer volume of language will prove convincing. It was a technique that always worked for Neruda (and Whitman in the American tradition of a similar poetics) and it works here too. But a flood of words threatens to become incoherent. Yours doesn’t because the individual images are so sensitively composed. For example, NOTHING MOVES/BUT THOSE PENDULUMS/THAT SWING BETWEEN YOUR HEART AND MINE. and … THE CURLS OF YOUR HAIR, THE STRENGTH OF YOUR KISSES, AND THE SMELL YOU LEAVE BEHIND. Despite your fear that language will fail to deliver meaing , this language succeeds with wonder


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