Thursday, December 18, 2014


Today, I'd like to share a poem from one of the best book of love poems ever written, Veinte poemas de amor y una canción desesperada by Pablo Neruda (ISBN: 9789561602793). I'm sharing from page 13 of Poema 1. I'm also including the English edition, Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair (ISBN: 9780811803205), translated from the Spanish by W. S. Merwin.

I love this beautiful cover!

This book (along with 12 other Pablo Neruda books) arrived today; I collected them from the courier office. What a perfect timing for Thursday Text! This box of books is the first of the few that are all part of my 2014 Annual Book Binge. Although I had to lug the book box with me to my MBA class after collecting it, I was super happy to do so. Today's class is the final one for the year for the module Leading Organization. (Read the post about all my Pablo Neruda books here.) For now, I hope you'll enjoy Poema 1 in both  Spanish and English!

Poema 1

Cuerpo de mujer, blancas colinas, muslos blancos,
te pareces al mundo en tu actitud de entrega.
Mi cuerpo de labriego salvaje te socava
y hace saltar el hijo del fondo de la tierra.

Fui solo como un túnel. De mí huían los páraros
y en mí la noche entraba su invasión poderosa.
Para sobrevivirme te forjé como un arma,
como una flecha en mi arco, como una piedra en mi honda.

Pero cae la hora de la venganza, y te amo.
Cuerpo de piel, de musgo, de leche ávida y firme.
Ah los vasos del pecho! Ah los ojos de ausencia!
Ah las rosas del pubis! Ah tu voz lenta y triste!

Cuerpo de mujer mía, persistiré en tu gracia.
Mi sed, mi ansia sin límite, mi camimo indeciso!
Oscuros cauces donde la sed eterna sigue, 
y la fatiga sigue, y el dolor infinito.

Poem 1
Body of a Woman

Body of a woman, white hills, white thighs,
you look like a world, lying in surrender.
My rough peasant's body digs in you
and makes the son leap from the depth of the earth.

I was alone like a tunnel. The birds fled from me,
and night swamped me with its crushing invasion.
To survive myself I forged you like a weapon,
like an arrow in my bow, a stone in my sling.

But the hour of vengeance falls, and I love you.
Body of skin, of moss, of eager and firm milk.
Oh the goblets of the breast! Oh the eyes of absence!
Oh the roses of the pubis! Oh your voice, slow and sad!

Body of my woman, I will persist in your grace.
My thirst, my boundless desire, my shifting road!
Dark river-beds where the eternal thirst flows
and weariness follows, and the infinite ache.

Have you read this Twenty Love Poems? What do you think of it?


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