Pablo Neruda

(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973 / Parral / Chile)

XVII (I do not love you...)


I do not love you as if you were 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.


Translated by Stephen Tapscott

Anonymous Submission

Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

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  • Ntsakisi Malabie (9/7/2013 6:19:00 AM)

    Beautiful.....! Beautiful......Beautiful.......I love you because I know no other way.....that is love right there....love has no reason....it loves because it loves! (Report) Reply

  • Anna Sealy (11/25/2009 7:39:00 AM)

    I love this poem...This is exactly how i feel about the man i've love almost my entire life.It's nice to know that i'm not alone in this.Thank you pablo. (Report) Reply

  • Vanessa Goc-ong (10/17/2009 10:56:00 AM)

    I really love this poem. Love, like life, cannot be fully defined, but Pablo Neruda quite captured it in this poem. Even placed this poem in my wedding invitation. (Report) Reply

  • RR Romac (4/8/2008 11:07:00 PM)

    I heard this poem first on a televisoin show being read at a funeral. It was so beautiful I searched for it online knowing only a few of the lines... 'I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride'... (Report) Reply

  • Gabriel Vanmason (2/21/2005 1:59:00 AM)

    Truly, one of the most beautiful poems ever written. This poem encompasses the meaning of true love, and what love should be! (Report) Reply

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