If You Forget Me

By Pablo Neruda

(performance version by Madonna)


I want you to know
one thing.

You know how this is:
if I look
at the crystal moon, at the red branch
of the slow autumn at my window,
if I touch
near the fire
the impalpable ash
or the wrinkled body of the log,
everything carries me to you,
as if everything that exists:
aromas, light, metals,
were little boats that sail
toward those isles of yours that wait for me.

Well, now,
if little by little you stop loving me
I shall stop loving you little by little.

If suddenly
you forget me
do not look for me,
for I shall already have forgotten you.

If you think it long and mad,
the wind of banners
that passes through my life,
and you decide
to leave me at the shore
of the heart where I have roots,
that on that day,
at that hour,
I shall lift my arms
and my roots will set off
to seek another land.

if each day,
each hour,
you feel that you are destined for me
with implacable sweetness,
if each day a flower
climbs up to your lips to seek me,
ah my love, ah my own,
in me all that fire is repeated,
in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten,
my love feeds on your love, beloved,
and as long as you live it will be in your arms
without leaving mine.

Today we found Casa di Arturo where Pablo Neruda lived on Capri in exile in 1952.  During his time here he wrote The Captain’s Verses

Pablo Neruda stayed at Casa di Arturo, Isle of Capri in 1952

One of my favorite movies, Il Postino, takes place on Capri at the time when Neruda lived here and in which he interacted with the main character of the film.

This is how Capri (stress on the 1st syllable, not the 2nd) made the short list of places in Italy to visit. 

It isn’t as remote as portrayed in the movie, but it’s a fascinating place!


Some believe the name is derived from the Greek word for wild boar; others think it comes from the Latin word for goats.  In any case, it’s old.  Julius Caesar first remarked upon its beauty BC and later Tiberius built 12 villas upon it.  A military stronghold, there are numerous fortresses and an ancient  history that includes rule by the Greek, Spanish and French.

In the 19th century Capri became more attractive as a resort area and it turns out to be quite the magnet for intellectuals and celebrities over the years.

Sure does remind one of Santa Catalina Island.  But older.

We arrived on stormy seas last night and tripped in to our B & B Aiano in teh dark.  Lovely!  It’s a short walk to the town of Capri where we feasted on Insalata Caprese – blood red tomatoes and mozzarella di bufala, or mozzarella cheese made from the milk of water buffalo.

Does this make it a milk buffalo?  I have yet to see one of these water buffalo, but I’m looking.

Impatient to see Capri in daylight, we awoke early, feasted on homemade bread and pastries, and began our walk to town.  There is a labyrinth of lanes and alleys that connect neighbors, businesses and visitors to one another. 

Sunrise on Capri, Vesuvio in backgroundCapriCapri

It is on this stroll that we discovered Casa di Arturo.

But there are paths all over the island, to old monasteries, lookout points and down to the beach.

CapriAlohalani & lemonsFaraglioni, Capri





I swam in the Tyrrhenian Sea!


More later!


Kim Ku`ulei Birnie     (c)