February 13, 2009

I Don't Love You as if You Were a Rose

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--Description: Neruda P., 20th C, Adoration, Love

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose,or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.

I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way

than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

Pablo Neruda

--Did You Know:  was the pen name and, later, legal name of the Chilean writer and politician NeftalĂ­ Ricardo Reyes Basoalto. Neruda assumed his pen name as a teenager, partly because it was in vogue, partly to hide his poetry from his father, a rigid man who wanted his son to have a "practical" occupation.

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Katia Shtefan on February 14, 2009 at 8:55 AM said...

This is a great poem, and a great translation as well. I especially like the part about the tight aroma rising out of the earth and filling his body. Love for Neruda is always connected to the natural world. If you really like him, check out Red Poppy at www.redpoppy.net. It's a non-profit set up to create a documentary biographical film about Neruda and to translate his works into English.

V. Mahfood on February 14, 2009 at 11:45 AM said...

Neruda was so very expressive, and in a way that everyone can relate to, with simplicity yet meaning. Thanks.

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