Sonnet XVII

I stumbled across this poem recently (on Facebook, of all places) and was awed. I don’t know how I couldn’t have seen it before.  It’s so beautiful.

I don’t love you as if you were the salt-rose, topaz 
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire: 
I love you as certain dark things are loved, 
secretly, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that doesn’t bloom and carries 
hidden within itself the light of those flowers, 
and thanks to your love, darkly in my body 
lives the dense fragrance that rises from the earth.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where, 
I love you simply, without problems or pride: 
I love you in this way because I don’t know any other way of loving

but this, in which there is no I or you, 
so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, 
so intimate that when I fall asleep it is your eyes that close.

-Pablo Neruda

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3 thoughts on “Sonnet XVII

  1. I came across this while browsing wordpress blogs on writing, and I’m so glad I did…this sonnet is amazing! I haven’t read much Neruda, but whenever I come across something of his I am always left feeling so stunned. His writing makes me want to learn Spanish just so I don’t have to read a translation of his poetry. The culmination of the feeling of oneness between two lovers is so beautiful. Oh my gosh, I just love this.

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