Monday, February 14, 2011

a little neruda for valentines day

i've hated valentines day for most of my life (what with me still being single and all . . . .) but a few years ago i decided that hating it was just wasting too much energy and wasn't really all that original of a sentiment and what kind of romantic was i if i couldn't even appreciate a day set aside to celebrate love? also, it's my mom's birthday, and i can't hate the day we celebrate my mom . . .


happy birthday to my mom.

and happy valentines day to the rest of you.

for valentines day, i give all of you two of my favorite sonnets from pablo neruda. (do you have the pink book? because you should.) i was only going to post one (xvii, my very favorite) but for some reason ii is really speaking to me today, so you get two.



Love, what a long way, to arrive at a kiss,
what loneliness-in-motion, toward your company!
Rolling with the rain we follow the tracks alone.
In Taltal there is neither daybreak nor spring.

But you and I, love, we are together
from our clothes down to our roots:
together in the autumn, in water, in hips, until
we can be alone together -- only you, only me.

To think of the effort, that the current carried
so many stones, the delta of Boroa water;
to think that you and I, divided by trains and nations,

we had only to love one another:
with all the confusions, the men and the women,
the earth that makes carnations rise, and makes them bloom!



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 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.


(if you wanna swoon a little, you can. i do. every time.)