Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Sonnet LXVI - I do not love you - Pablo Neruda

As promised, another from Neruda's 100 Love Sonnets.  I wish you could read it in Spanish: some of the passion is diluted in translation, as I hold firmly that certain love-poetry can only be "pulled off" in their origin.  This one is a declaration of love that speaks true, as it acknowledges that when we love someone, we at once see him/her perfectly well AND, simultaneously, not at all, in order to love them and their shortcomings.  (If YOU are loved THAT well, pay attention!)
Sonnet LXVI
                                         transl. by Stephen Trascott

I do not love you – except because I love you;
I go from loving to not loving you,
from waiting to not waiting for you
my heart moves from the cold into

the fire. I love you only because it’s you
I love; I hate you no end, and hating you
bend to you, and the measure of my changing love for you
is that I do not see you but love you

blindly. Maybe the January light will comsume
my heart with its cruel
ray, stealing my key to true

calm. In this part of the story I am the one who
dies, the only one, and I will die of love because I love you
because I love you, Love, in fire and in blood.

                                                                                         Pablo Neruda

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