I do not love you as if you were a 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 planet 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 straighforwardly, without complex ties 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.

Pablo Neruda

Pablo Neruda was a contemporary of Octavio Paz, one of my all time favorite poets.  I never read any poetry of his that I loved, so I never paid him much mind… till I read this poem.  I really have to be in the right mood for a poem to hit me the way I want it to.  If I had to label that mood, I would call it sentimental.  I think the reason I never liked Neruda’s poetry was because I never read his work while I was in the right mood.  This Love Sonnet was my gateway into his work.