September 2009 Poem of the Month: XVII by Neruda

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Poem of the Month ~ September 2009

Pablo Neruda was a prolific poet and endlessly imaginative man. His poetry reveals the spirit of a lover – impassioned, generous, earthy and potent. He is at home with himself, his body, his sexuality, the natural world, and the fertile dark . This poem delights and quiets me. I savor the tender intimacy and strength of this love song, as a taproot into my own depths, where I bask in the light and the dark and am nourished.

May it be so for you, too. —Krayna

XVII
I don’t love you as if you were the salt-rose, topaz
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:
I love you as certain dark things are loved,
secretly, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that doesn’t bloom 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 problems or pride:
I love you in this way because I don’t know any other way of loving
but this, in which there is no I or you,
so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand,
so intimate that when I fall asleep it is your eyes that close.


Illustration by French Toast Girl

Pablo Neruda, from 100 Love Sonnets (1960)
Copyrighted material; for educational/therapeutic purposes only.

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