Pablo Neruda’s Sonnet XVII (100 Love Sonnets, 1960)

9 09 2007

This is perhaps the most loved Pablo Neruda poem.  If someone would read and offer these lines to me, I would definitely melt. When the time comes when I’ll find someone that I’ll feel so strongly for that I’ll want to offer this poem to that person, there’s a huge chance that he–or she—is the ONE.

I don’t love you as if you were the salt-rose, topaz
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:
I love you as certain dark things are loved,
secretly, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that doesn’t bloom and carries
hidden within itself the light of those flowers,
and thanks to your love, darkly in my body
lives the dense fragrance that rises from the earth.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you simply, without problems or pride:
I love you in this way because I don’t know any other way of loving

but this, in which there is no I or you,
so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand,
so intimate that when I fall asleep it is your eyes that close.

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5 responses

22 10 2007
Free fall!

[…] Pablo Neruda’s Sonnet XVII (100 Love Sonnets, 1960) […]

25 12 2009
Ashley

I seriously love this poem. i first heard it while i was watching the movie Patch Adams and he reads this love to the girl and it was amazing. it has such deep meaning to it that it doesnt leave you. As though the words just linger there and never float away.

5 12 2010
Ting

Could someone tell me what’s this poem is about?
What does Neruda want to show in this poem?

15 11 2011
Alexandria

A different kind of love, perhaps more powerful than the ones that are celebrated with flowers and gifts….a love that is secretly growing stronger deep inside him. It is intimacy and desire, as yet unfulfilled.

Can you see that in his image of the flower that has not yet opened… (maybe it has not even revealed itself yet?), but he (the lover) is intensely aware of its power in his life… its fragrance coming out of the earth and living in his body….. between the shadows and the soul…

Have you been in love that way? Where the passion you feel for that other, longed for person, is so strong that you almost feel that your hand could be his hand (or hers)? When this intimate kind of love hits you–and consumes your thoughts–you will know it has happened to you. And then come find this poem again. No one captures it more eloquently than Neruda in XVII..

23 10 2013
Yvonne

Yes a love like this can’t be describe in words and is the best kind

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