Sonnet Xvii

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.

by Pablo Neruda

Comments (5)

I must admit I have long known the name Gary Snyder but I have never known his poems. I was surprised to learn that he and Wendell Berry are friends and have been loyal correspondents for nearly fifty years. So I decided to check him out. This is the first poem of his that I read, and I see why they are friends. Snyder will be added to my long, long list of poets that interest me, maybe even to the diverse company of my favorite poets.
Nicely done Gary
this poem seems funny. but not so. It has deep undertones of what life forces on one so inevitably. Great poem sathya narayana
It can be so true... Be careful... Spend your time wisely.
One of Snyder's finest funny poems: this one shows that a good ear is an essential part of recognizing poetry.