Sonnet XVII by Pablo Neruda

Pablo NerudaMy best friend Bradley Minnaar introduced me to the beautiful poetry of Pablo Neruda. He paid me one of the best compliments I’ve ever received by telling me that my poetry was similar to that of the great Neruda. You can read my poetry on the website. But here is one of the classics of love poetry ever written. Shakespeare eat dust!

Sonnet XVII (100 Love Sonnets, 1960)

I do not love you as if you were a 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.

=== the end ===

You may want to read Pablo Neruda’s Nobel Lecture, December 13, 1971


Author: RJ Thomas

RJ Thomas is an International Relationship Builder. He was born in South Africa, and moved to China in 2013.

  • bepven

    i’ve always loved this poem thanks for posting it here =) especially the last part. ill read one of your poem as a thank you