Friday, July 18, 2008

Poetry Friday - 19

This week a friend in the Philippines introducted me to the poetry of the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda (how cosmopolitan is the WWW?!) - whose poetry I'd not previously encountered. I particularly like this poem. For some reason the line "I love you as certain dark things are to be loved" makes me think of Shakespeare:

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.

Translated by Stephen Tapscott

This week the Poetry Friday round-up really IS with Kelly Fineman (I mistook the date last week, so I apologise if I caused any confusion...)


Elaine Magliaro said...


Great selection! I really like this poem. I haven't read that much of Neruda's poetry myself.

I hope all is well over there on the other side of the Atlantic.

Michele said...

I'm heading into the library tomorrow to borrow a volume (I'd have gone yesterday but the library staff were striking!)

I'm well, thanks - although weary - I'm still adjusting to the whole doing two jobs lark...

Anonymous said...

I mistook the week last week, which is what caused your confusion. D'oh!

I got a volume of Neruda poems for the holidays last year. It gives each poem in Spanish and in translation. His work is really marvelous. Plus, it's helping me improve my Spanish, as it turns out I can figure out quite a lot of the words in many of his poems on my own.

I agree about the line you specially selected - it's brilliant!

Michele said...

It's a relief to know I'm not the only confused person about! :D

I managed to pick up two collections this morning - Love: Poems from the film Il Postino (which I haven't seen) and The Captain's Verses and both have the original Spanish and then the English translation. I know no Spanish, but I shall very likely read both the Spanish and the English poem each time...

I agree about the line you specially selected - it's brilliant!

Isn't it?! Gave me a little shiver...

Unknown said...

Wow, that's just...stunning.

Michele said...

Isn't it??