21 March, 2010

Because... Can you really have too much of something you love?

I had to buy this newest incarnation of Pablo Neruda's 100 Love Sonnets. Had to.
It's just so sweet in this little format that fits as well in the palm of my hand as it does in a back pocket.
And the pink, and the gold foil... Had to.
I love reading these and thinking of he and Matilde living on Isla Negra, sitting on the beach, eating fruit...

His simple dedication to her:

"...I am like a scorched rock
that suddenly sings when you are near, because it drinks
the water you carry from the forest, in your voice."

I love that he waited several years to publish them, in effort to spare the feelings of his second wife. I love that it was more than a passing infatuation and that after years of ups and downs he and Matilde finally married and stayed together, happy, and in love for as long as they lived. Reading the sonnets feels almost voyeuristic; but I am so in love with their love and the perfect, and imperfect and precious way he was able to express it. Viva Neruda!

"Drunk as drunk on turpentine
From your open kisses,

Your wet body wedged
Between my wet body and the strake
Of our boat that is made out of flowers,

Feasted, we guide it - our fingers
Like tallows adorned with yellow metal-
Over the sky's hot rim,
The day's last breath in our sails.
Pinned by the sun between solstice
And equinox, drowsy and tangled together

We drifted for months and woke
With the bitter taste of land on our lips,
Eyelids all sticky, and we longed for limeAlign Left
And the sound of a rope

Lowering a bucket down a well.
We came by night to the Fortunate Isles,
And lay like fish
Under the net of our kisses."

"I can write the saddest lines tonight.
Write for example:

'The night is fractured
and they shiver, blue, those stars, in the distance’

The night wind turns in the sky and sings.
I can write the saddest lines tonight.
I loved her, sometimes she loved me too.

On nights like these I held her in my arms.
I kissed her greatly under the infinite sky.

She loved me, sometimes I loved her too.
How could I not have loved her huge, still eyes.

I can write the saddest lines tonight.
To think I don’t have her, to feel I have lost her.

Hear the vast night, vaster without her.
Lines fall on the soul like dew on the grass.

What does it matter that I couldn’t keep her.
The night is fractured and she is not with me.

That is all. Someone sings far off. Far off,
my soul is not content to have lost her.

As though to reach her, my sight looks for her.
My heart looks for her: she is not with me

The same night whitens, in the same branches.
We, from that time, we are not the same.

I don’t love her, that’s certain, but how I loved her.
My voice tried to find the breeze to reach her.

Another’s kisses on her, like my kisses.
Her voice, her bright body, infinite eyes.

I don’t love her, that’s certain, but perhaps I love her.
Love is brief: forgetting lasts so long.

Since, on these nights, I held her in my arms,
my soul is not content to have lost her.

Though this is the last pain she will make me suffer,
and these are the last lines I will write for her. "

~Pablo Neruda (1904-1973)

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails