Un Soneto para Mi Amor

I’m picking my wife up at the airport today. I wrote before about how I moved from John Donne’s “A Valediction: Forbidding Mourning” to Jack Gilbert’s “Highlights and Interstices” as ways to understand our time in different states, but this is now the poem for today:

Love, what a long way, to arrive at a kiss,
what loneliness-in-motion, toward your company!
Rolling with the rain we follow the tracks alone.
In Taltal there is neither daybreak nor spring.

But you and I, love, we are together
from our clothes down to our roots:
together in the autumn, in water, in hips, until
we can be alone together–only you, only me.

To think of the effort, that the current carried
so many stones, the delta of Boroa water;
to think that you and I, divided by trains and nations,

we had only to love one another:
with all the confusions, the men and the women,
the earth that makes carnations rise, and makes them bloom!

– Pablo Neruda (translated by Stephen Tapscott)

And here’s the original

Amor, cuántos caminos hasta llegar a un beso,
qué soledad errante hasta tu compañía!
Siguen los trenes solos rodaondo con la lluvia.
En Taltal no amanece aún la primavera.

Pero tú y yo, amor mío, estamos juntos,
juntos desde la ropa a las raíces,
juntos de otoño, de agua, de caderas,
hasta ser sólo tu, sólo yo juntos.

Pensar qu costó tantas piedras que lleva el río,
la desembocadura del agua de Boroa,
pensar qu separados por trenes y naciones

tú y yo teníamos que simplemente amarnos,
con todos confundidos, con hombres y mujeres,
con la tierra que implanta y educa los claveles.

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