Cien Sonetos de Amor

I’ll post Pablo Neruda’s sonnets that I find most interesting. The list will go longer in time.

Sonnet 17

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

in which there is no I or you

so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand

so intimate that when you fall asleep it is my eyes that close

Sonnet 44

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 silence,

fire has its cold half.

I love you in order to begin to love you,

to start infinity again

and never to stop loving you:

that’s why I do not love you yet.

I love you, and I do not love you, as if I held

keys in my hand: to a future of joy-

a wretched, muddled fate-

My love has two lives, in order to love you:

that’s why I love you when I do not love you,

and also why I love you when I do.


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