What are the underlying feelings of the speaker in "Tonight I Can Write"? What are your perceptions of the speaker in the poem?

Expert Answers
reidalot eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This poem by Pablo Neruda explores the melancholy the speaker feels over his lost love: "Tonight I can write the saddest lines." The night has inspired the speaker to reminisce about his lover and their very passionate relationship: "I kissed her again and again under the endless sky. "However, on a deeper note, the speaker appears to be more in love with love! "I no longer love her, that's certain, but how I loved her." As such, the speaker truly is sad over the  passing of love and contemplates the  impermanence of passion between a couple as the woman will "...be another's. As she was before my kisses."

Neruda explores the transient nature of passionate love with nostalgia yet also, paradoxically, clearly explores the reality of those lovers who do not seek permanent relationships: "...this be the last pain she makes me suffer and these the last verses I write for her." The speaker needs the pain of lost love to pen his verse and evoke deep emotion. Your perception of the speaker will depend upon how you feel about a man who needs his lost lover to use as his muse to write poetry!