I discovered Pablo Neruda through the movie Patch Adams starring Robin Williams. I loved the movie and loved the poem. Since then I’ve become a fan of all Pablo Neruda’s work but this one is still my favourite. I’ve been dabbling with learning Spanish so I can read Pablo Neruda’s work in it’s original tongue as well as the works of César Vallejo and Federico García Lorca- I seem to have a soft spot for Spanish language poetry. Alas my Spanish is a long long way from being able to appreciate poetry.
XVII (I do not love you…)
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.