Poetry Tuesday: Sonnet XVII

I’ve loved poetry for as long as I can remember; both reading it and writing it. My favorite thing about poetry is the way raw emotion is expressed in a calculated matter. Even if it doesn’t rhyme or follow a format, poetry has a way of jumping off the page and directly into my heart.

I discovered Pablo Neruda through my sister, Dahiana, and fell in love. When I was younger, I was the definition of a “hopeless romantic.” I read a lot and would always want a story book romance. Discovering Pablo Neruda’s poetry lit a fire in me. It made me want a love that at that time, I probably would have never been able to comprehend. However, one of the key components of Neruda’s writing is its timelessness. As I’ve gotten older, I have been able to revisit my favorite poems and each time, feel something new. With all the recent changes in my life, this poem has been on my mind. I love both the Spanish and English translation. I hope you enjoy it.


One Hundred Love Sonnets: XVII

Translated by Mark Eisner

I don’t love you as if you were a rose of salt, topaz,   
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:   
I love you as one loves certain obscure things,   
secretly, between the shadow and the soul. 
I love you as the plant that doesn’t bloom but carries   
the light of those flowers, hidden, within itself,   
and thanks to your love the tight aroma that arose   
from the earth lives dimly in my body. 
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,   
I love you directly without problems or pride: 
I love you like this because I don’t know any other way to love, 
except in this form in which I am not nor are you,   
so close that your hand upon my chest is mine,   
so close that your eyes close with my dreams.

No te amo como si fueras rosa de sal, topacio 

o flecha de claveles que propagan el fuego: 
te amo como se aman ciertas cosas oscuras, 
secretamente, entre la sombra y el alma.

Te amo como la planta que no florece y lleva 
dentro de sí, escondida, la luz de aquellas flores, 
y gracias a tu amor vive oscuro en mi cuerpo 
el apretado aroma que ascendió de la tierra.

Te amo sin saber cómo, ni cuándo, ni de dónde, 
te amo directamente sin problemas ni orgullo: 
así te amo porque no sé amar de otra manera,

sino así de este modo en que no soy ni eres, 
tan cerca que tu mano sobre mi pecho es mía, 
tan cerca que se cierran tus ojos con mi sueño.

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