Friday, January 16, 2009

Fridays are for Neruda

This poem is twice-stolen. First from Pablo-himself who wouldn't mind, I know and second from the wonderful blog of a former student and brilliant poetessa. She promises us more of her writing soon and she knows her way around Spanish and Spanish poetry. And maybe she will be at AWP this year? If so, she will certainly track me down?

For now the sonnet I am reminded of and love all the more today when Friday is frozen solid.

Soneto XVII

No 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.



Sonnet 17

I do not love you as if you were a 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 so 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.

3 comments:

theKate said...

THAT'S ONE OF MY FAVORITE POEMS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

natasha said...

oh lord, i WAS at AWP, and i was at the Wick Center reading too. i'd come up intending to talk to all of you (was dragged, really, by Alice Cone), but i didn't say anything because i was shy and wasn't certain you'd remember me.

but i was thinking about you and our workshop when i returned home, and now i've read this entry, so i can say what i was going to say on friday: thank you for being such a great instructor that week. i think you're a wonderful poet, i enjoyed your reading, and i am looking forward to seeing more of your new work.

a-smk said...

Oh Natasha,

Thank you and I would have even do remember you. It was weird though, and I was glassy-eyed as I get with too much going on. I like one-to-one interactions so much more than big schmooz-fests. I get shy and self-conscious when there's too much to see, hear, say. But wow--those readers! How about them? The new winner--love his stuff. It's so sincere and smart. See you at the 25th? I'll be there for some of that week.