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

Anonymous Submission

by Pablo Neruda

Comments (2)

I fear for the world if she lets them down
A darkly comic poem.....full of implied menace and violence. The terse, judgemental voice of the narrator and slightly odd sounding names at times give the poem a feel reminiscent of a fairy story or folktale which lightens the tone.The last three lines bring a sense of hope but in a decidedly ambiguous manner ['life's dark book '...'shrill sentence']