Soneto XVII by Pablo Neruda

Pablo Neruda’s poetry is the best I have ever read. Even in a language I barely speak.

Born in Chile in 1904 as Neftali Ricardo Reyes Basoalto, the wonderful Neruda was already known as a poet as a teenager. This Nobel Prize winning author, poet, politician and diplomat is the composer of some of the most beautiful strings of words ever woven together.

And Sonnet 17 is the most beautiful poem I have ever read. I discovered it two years ago and sent it to Phil – his reply was:

“Das Sonett ist wunderschoen. Ich bin ein wenig neidisch das Du es gefunden hast und nicht ich. Es gibt dem, was Herr Neruda so gekonnt in Worte fast, nichts mehr hinzu zu fuegen.

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”

Soneto XVII

o te amo como si fueras rosa de sal, topacio
o flecha de claveles que propagan el fuego:
te amo como se aman ciertas cosas oscuras,
secretamente, entre la sombra y el alma.

Te amo como la planta que no florece y lleva
dentro de sí, escondida, la luz de aquellas flores,
y gracias a tu amor vive oscuro en mi cuerpo
el apretado aroma que ascendió de la tierra.

Te amo sin saber cómo, ni cuándo, ni de dónde,
te amo directamente sin problemas ni orgullo:
así te amo porque no sé amar de otra manera,

sino así de este modo en que no soy ni eres,
tan cerca que tu mano sobre mi pecho es mía,
tan cerca que se cierran tus ojos con mi sueño.

pablo neruda sonner 17 english

3 thoughts on “Soneto XVII by Pablo Neruda

  1. “Pablo Neruda’s poetry is the best I have ever read”

    Er, I think you mean the second best poetry you’ve ever read, young lady?! ;-(

  2. Pingback: Ode To Bird Watching by Pablo Neruda | Ipseand

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