Pablo Neruda – Sonnet XVII

This is perhaps my favorite poem. Originally written in Spanish by the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, the translation may not completely do it justice, but it’ll have to suffice since I don’t speak Spanish fluently enough to translate it myself. Enjoy.

I do not love you as the salt-rose, topaz,
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
Secretly, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms 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 complexities or pride.
I love you because I know no other way
Than this: where I does not exist, nor you,

So close that your hand upon my chest is my hand,
So close that it’s your eyes that close as I fall asleep.

 -Pablo Neruda, Sonnet XVII

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3 thoughts on “Pablo Neruda – Sonnet XVII

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