Pablo Neruda: “Body of a Woman”

Body of a Woman

Body of a woman, white hills, white thighs,
you resemble a world in your pose of surrender.
My rough peasant body digs into your flesh
and a child springs forth from the depths of the earth.

I was alone like a tunnel. Birds fled from me
and night conquered me with its crushing invasion.
To survive myself I forged you like a weapon,
like an arrow in my bow, a stone in my sling.

But the hour of vengeance falls, and I love you.
Body of flesh, of moss, of steady, eager milk.
The cups of your breasts, the eyes of your absence,
the rose of your pubis, your sad, slow voice …

Body of my woman, I will keep on in your grace.
My thirst, unbound desire, and uncertain road.
Dark channels where eternal thirst will flow,
and weariness will follow, and infinite sorrow.

Pablo Neruda

Translate from Spanish by Paul Weinfield, © 2014

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