Pablo Neruda: “Sonnet 66” (from Cien Sonetos de Amor)

Sonnet 66 (from Cien Sonetos de Amor)

I do not love you, but I love you all the same,
so that in loving you, I come to the end of love again,
and expecting you when no expectations remain,
my heart passes over from ice into flame.

I only love you because I love only you.
I hate you no end: that’s why I plead with you kindly.
And the only test of my wandering love that is true
is that I lose sight of you just to love you more blindly.

Perhaps the light of January will tear at the seams
of my heart and consume it in its merciless beams,
stealing the key to the peace I desire.

In this story, I am the one who will perish.
I will die of love, because it’s you whom I cherish,
because I love you, my love, in blood and in fire.

Pablo Neruda

Translated from Spanish by Paul Weinfield, © 2014

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