Below, readers can explore some of the greatest Spanish-language poems ever written. They were penned by authors like Pablo Neruda, Gabriela Mistral, and Federico García Lorca.
Explore the Best Spanish Poems
- 1 Romance Sonámbulo by Federico García Lorca
- 2 Comes the Dawn by Jorge Luis Borges
- 3 In the Light of the Moon, or Al Claro de Luna by Delmira Agustini
- 4 Ode to My Suit by Pablo Neruda
- 5 Traveler, or Caminante by Antonio Machado
- 6 At the Beginning, or Al Partir by Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda
- 7 Sonnet XLIV, or Sabrás que no te amo y que te amo by Pablo Neruda
- 8 You foolish men, that incite, or Hombres necios que acusáis by Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz
- 9 Sonnet of the Sweet Complaint, or Soneto de la dulce queja by Federico Garcia Lorca
- 10 Kisses, or Besos by Gabriela Mistral
- 11 FAQs
This is one of Federico García Lorca’s most famous poems. It was written in the midst of the Spanish Civil War. It contains a mournful and beautiful dream sequence in which the poet longs for something unattainable. The version used below was translated by William Byrant Logan. Here are the first few lines:
Green, how I want you green.
Green wind. Green branches.
The ship out on the sea
and the horse on the mountain
The original Spanish version begins with:
Verde que te quiero verde.
Verde viento. Verdes ramas.
El barco sobre la mar
y el caballo en la montaña.
Explore more Federico García Lorca poems.
Comes the Dawn by Jorge Luis Borges
This piece explores the highs and lows of relationships and, above all else, the realization of the importance of self-love. Throughout the piece, the speaker moves through the idea of learning in relationships. For example, what the difference is between permanent and temporary relationships, what is “love,” and more. Here are a few lines:
After a while
you learn the subtle difference
between holding a hand
and chaining a soul.
Discover more Jorge Luis Borges poems.
In the Light of the Moon, or Al Claro de Luna by Delmira Agustini
In this beautiful poem, the Uruguayan poet writes about a speaker’s love for the moon. Throughout, the poet demonstrates her skill with imagery and her incredibly creative approach to the traditional subject matter. This well-loved Spanish language poet died at the age of 28. The first lines of this piece, in English, read:
The moon is pallid and sad, the moon is bloodless and cold.
I imagine the half-moon as a profile of the dead…
And beyond the reknowned and praised pallor
Of Arab pearls, I prefer the rose in recent bud.
This is a wonderful example of Pablo Neruda’s poetry. It is one of several odes the poet wrote that focuses on everyday, seemingly mundane things. In this case, the poet spends the lines praising a suit. Other objects that he focuses on throughout his work include a pair of socks and a tomato. The poem was published in his 1954 collection titled Elementary Odes. The first lines read:
Every morning, suit,
you are waiting on a chair
to be filled
by my vanity, my love,
my hope, my body.
Traveler, or Caminante by Antonio Machado
Antonio Machado’s ‘Traveler,’ or ‘Caminante,’ is a well-loved Spanish language poem written in 1912. It is well-regarded for its song-like qualities and its universally appealing subject matter. Here are a few lines translated into English:
Traveler, your footprints
are the only road, nothing else.
Traveler, there is no road;
you make your own path as you walk.
The same lines in Spanish read:
Caminante, son tus huellas
el camino y nada más;
Caminante, no hay camino,
se hace camino al andar.
At the Beginning, or Al Partir by Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda
Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda was a Cuban writer who, within this well-known poem, writes about the emotions she experienced when leaving her home. The first lines of the English translation read:
Sea Pearl! Star of the West!
Beautiful Cuba! your bright sky,
the night covers with its opaque veil
how pain covers my sad forehead.
Sonnet XLIV, or Sabrás que no te amo y que te amo by Pablo Neruda
‘Sonnet XLIV’ is one of Neruda’s One Hundred Love Sonnets. It is also sometimes known as ‘You must know that I do not love and that I love you.’ The poem begins with the lines:
You must know that I do not love and that I love you,
because everything alive has its two sides;
a word is one wing of the silence,
fire has its cold half.
Neruda concludes the poem with his speaker stating that his love has two lives or is split in two, allowing the speaker to love his beloved even when he doesn’t love her.
Read more Pablo Neruda poems.
You foolish men, that incite, or Hombres necios que acusáis by Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz
Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, born Doña Inés de Asbaje y Ramírez de Santillana, is considered to be one of the most important Latin American poets of all time. Within this piece, she demonstrates her skill with language and her complicated life as a nun during Mexico’s colonial period in the mid-late 1600s. She is also known for her fight for women’s rights, elements of which can be seen in the poem. Here are a few lines:
You foolish men that accuse
women, without a reason
without seeing that you´re to blame
of the same thing you accuse.
Sonnet of the Sweet Complaint, or Soneto de la dulce queja by Federico Garcia Lorca
This is a fourteen-line sonnet that has been separated into four stanzas by the poet. In its original form, the poem was written in Spanish but has here been translated by John K. Walsh and Francisco Aragon. The poem describes the freeing and revelatory love experienced between a speaker and his listener. The first stanza reads:
Never let me lose the marvel
of your statue-like eyes, or the accent
the solitary rose of your breath
places on my cheek at night.
The poem was originally included in the collection, Sonetos del amor oscuro, or Sonnets of Dark Love.
Read more Federico García Lorca poems.
Kisses, or Besos by Gabriela Mistral
Gabriela Mistral is a contemporary Chilean poet and the first Latin American to win the Nobel Prize. This piece is one of her more romantic. Here are the first lines in English:
There are kisses that announce for themselves
the sentence of condemnatory love,
there are kisses given with a glance
there are kisses given by memory.
The same lines in Spanish read:
Hay besos que pronuncian por sí solos
la sentencia de amor condenatoria,
hay besos que se dan con la mirada,
hay besos que se dan con la memoria.
Discover more Gabriela Mistral poems.
Throughout history, numerous Spanish language poets have written incredible poems in their own language. Some of these include Pablo Neruda, Federico García Lorca, Octavio Paz, and Gabriela Mistral.
Some of Gabriela Mistral’s best-known poems include, in English, ‘God Wills It,’ ‘Slow Rain,’ and ‘Ecstasy.’ Mistral was the first Latin American to win the Noble Prize for Literature in 1945.