Love Poem for National Poetry Month

Love Sonnet 17

I do not love you as though you were the salt-rose, topaz
or the carnation-arrow begot in flames.
I love you as are loved certain dark things,
in secret, between shadow and soul.

I love you as the plant that does not flourish, and carries
hidden within itself the light of its flowers,
and, thanks to your love, there lives darkly in me
the quickening aroma that rose from the soil.

I love you . . . I don’t know how or when or where.
I simply love you, no problem, no pride.
I love you thus because I love no other way,

except this way, in which I am not and you are not,
so close that your hand on my chest is mine,
so close that your eyes close on my dreams.

-Pablo Naruda

Translation: Terence Clarke


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