Pablo Neruda Sonnet 17
translated by Maria Stromberg
I do not love you as if you were salt rose, topaz
or shaft of carnations generating flame:
I love you with the love of certain things obscure,
secretly, between the shadow and the soul.
I love you like the flowerless plant that carries
within itself, hiddenly, the luminance of those flowers:
by the grace of your love lives darkly in my flesh
that tight-furled aroma that ascended from the earth.
I love you without knowing how, nor when, nor whence,
I love you unswervingly without obstacle or pride:
and I love you thus because I know no other way,
save this way in which neither I “am” nor you “are”,
so near that your hand on my breast is mine,
so near that your eyelids close with my sleep.