Sonnet XVII by Pablo Neruda

Pablo Neruda

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

Poet: Pablo Neruda
1904 – 1973

Ricardo Eliécer Neftalí Reyes Basoalto, better known as Pablo Neruda, was a Chilean poet, diplomat and politician. He became known as a poet at 13 years old and wrote in a variety of styles and genre. He died in 1973, officially from heart failure, however, in 2015, the Chilean government issued a statement that it was highly likely and possible that Neruda’s death was due to the intervention of a third party.

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