Love, and other mysterious things

 

If I could have written this poem to describe the way I feel, I would have. It’s by Pablo Neruda, a 1920 era poet from Chile who was awarded the Nobel prize for literature. I think it’s the most perfect thing I’ve ever read. I’ve been accused of being too deep or fatalistic, but I’m allowed to be. I’m a writer. 

Epithalamium

You were
A leaf that trembled on my chest.
Life’s wind put you there.
At first I did not see you,
Did not know you were walking with me, 
until your roots
Pierced me.
Joined the threads of my blood,
Spoke through my mouth.

You occupied the house
That darkly awaited you..
And then you lit the lamps.

Do you remember, my love,
Our first steps?
The gray stones knew us,
The rain squalls,
The shouts of the wind in the shadow.

But the fire was our only friend.

Our love was born
Outside the walls
In the wind
In the night
In the earth,
And that’s why
The clay and flower and mud and the roots
Know your name,
And know that my mouth
Joined yours

Because we were sown together
In the earth
And we alone did not know it
And we grow
Together
And flower together

And therefore…
When we pass,
Your name is on the petals
Of the rose that grows on the stone, 
and my name is in the grottos.
They know it all
We have no secrets

We have grown together,
But we did not know it.
The dark earth is our name,
Our love belongs to all time

We shall wait
As earth and time change,
And leaves fall from silent vines,
As autumn departs
Through the broken window.

Our love, a single being,
The arrow that pierced winter.
Invincible love,
A leaf from the tree
Of life

And so you see
My love,
How I move around this world,
As if I have never walked
Except with you,
My heart.

As if I could not walk,
Except with you.
As if I could not sing,
Except when you sing.

 

3 Comments

  1. Eloquent….Beautiful!

    I was reading your homeless man/dog story. What a dynamic life you have. Applause.

    Great to have a new SITSer, welcome! I’m having a giveaway for a monogram bag…come on over!

    Reply
  2. Wow. If you haven’t read the full version of this poem (this one is abbreviated), definitely check it out. What I love most about it is that the relationship described is inextricably connected to nature. Its progress matches that of the seasons and is just as subtle, quiet, and incomprehensibly beautiful.

    If you really like Neruda, check out Red Poppy at http://www.redpoppy.net/pablo_neruda.php. It’s a non-profit set up to create a documentary about Neruda, publish his biography, and translate his works into English. To see our blog on Neruda’s literary activism, go to http://www.redpoppy.net/journal/Pablo_Neruda_Presente.html.

    Reply

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