The nature of love, Sonnet 17 by Pablo Neruda

Thank you to my colleague Joe Kort for this beautiful poem that reflects the complexity and depth of mature love.

Sonnet 17

by Pablo Neruda

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or tapaz,

or the arrow of carnations the first shoots off.

I love you as certain dark things are to be secret,

between the shadow and the soul.  I love you as the plant that never blooms

but carries 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.  but this,

where I do 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.

Posted by Laura

Laura Marshall, LCSW, is the founder and director of the Sagebrush Center for Relationship Therapy. Her experience spans thirty years of supporting couples and individuals to create healthy and meaningful lives and relationships. She is also adjunct faculty for the New Mexico Highlands School of Social Work. She lives with her husband Steve and five sons in Farmington, New Mexico.

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