Pablo Neruda: Sonnet XVII {I Do Not Love You}

Lonely Flowers 02

I’ve been writing poems for a couple of years now, but have always been really shy in sharing them. Plus, the whole copyright thing. That scares me. Like, students in high school on assignment, finding the easy way in class so they copy and paste something? Yeah, not a fan of sharing my poetry online because of that too. Maybe it’s a cheap excuse for an insecurity, but meh.

Growing up I’ve always looked to the greats like Neruda, Yeats, and Frost when it comes to inspiration in pouring out my best self onto paper. I try my very hardest to pull at that deep darkness inside me and come up with stuff that oddly, I’ve only actually ever shared with one person: My best friend. I know in every ounce of my being that I would never, ever be able to write anything superbly great and for all I know, my poems are incredibly amateur—and maybe even my best friend doesn’t like them deep down inside. Some of mine rhyme and from what I’ve heard from English language elitists, rhyming poems are Hallmark-like. So that’s a no-no…?

Anyway, here’s one of my favorite poems (that doesn’t rhyme) and one that I can definitely relate to.

XVII – I Do Not Love You

Pablo Neruda {1904 – 1973}

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.

Image Credit: Pixabay

What’s your favorite poem or poet?

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