Pablo Neruda: A Night on the Island

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All night I have slept with you
next to the sea, on the island.
Wild and sweet you were between pleasure and sleep,
between fire and water.

Perhaps very late
our dreams joined
at the top or at the bottom,

Up above like branches moved by a common wind,
down below like red roots that touch.

Perhaps your dream
drifted from mine
and through the dark sea
was seeking me
as before,
when you did not yet exist,
when without sighting you
I sailed by your side,
and your eyes sought
what now–
bread, wine, love, and anger–
I heap upon you
because you are the cup
that was waiting for the gifts of my life.

I have slept with you
all night long while
the dark earth spins
with the living and the dead,
and on waking suddenly
in the midst of the shadow
my arm encircled your waist.

Neither night nor sleep
could separate us.

I have slept with you
and on waking, your mouth,
come from your dream,
gave me the taste of earth,
of sea water, of seaweed,
of the depths of your life,
and I received your kiss
moistened by the dawn
as if it came to me
from the sea that surrounds us.

Pablo Neruda: Every Day You Play

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One of my favourite poems by the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. I love the playfullness and the sensuality of it.

Every day you play with the light of the universe
Subtle visitor, you arrive in the flower and the water.
You are more than this white head that I hold tightly
as a bunch of flowers, every day, between my hands.

You are like nobody, since I love you.
Let me spread you out among yellow garlands.
Who writes your name in letters of smoke among the stars of the south?
Oh let me remember you as you were before you existed….

You are here. Oh you do not run away.
You will answer me to the last cry.
Curl round me as though you were frightened.
Even so, a strange shadow once ran through your eyes.

Now, now too, little one, you bring me honeysuckle,
and even your breasts smell of it
While the sad wind goes slaughtering butterflies
I love you, and my happiness bites the plum of your mouth

How you must have suffered getting accustomed to me,
my savage, solitary soul, my name that sends them all running.
So many times we have seen the morning star burn, kissing our eyes,
and over our heads the grey light unwind in turning fans.

My words rained over you, stroking you.
A long time I have loved the sunned mother-of-pearl of your body
Until I even believe that you own the universe.
I will bring you happy flowers from the mountains, bluebells
dark hazels, and rustic baskets of kisses

I want
to do with you what spring does with cherry trees.