Thursday, July 13, 2006

Neruda, Love & Us..

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


I've always loved this poem in the context of my daughter - even before she was born. The last two lines came to mind the other day when I was reading a bedtime story. We're sitting on her bed, she's in my lap and we both have pj shorts. Her bare knees, my bare knees were touching. I wove my arms through hers and let my elbows angle into hers. I just felt my body and her body were so entwined. Ever since she was born, I had this weird sensation. If I'm holding her and I pat her on the back, I'm always surprised that I don't feel my hand through her body. I feel we're still part of each other.

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