Pablo Neruda: “Drunk On Turpentine” (from Veinte Poemas de Amor)

Drunk On Turpentine (from Veinte Poemas de Amor)

Drunk on turpentine and long-drawn kisses,
in summertime, I steer a sailboat of roses,
bent upon the death of the spidery day,
mired in my solid marine madness.

Pale and tied to my ravenous waters,
I cruise the sour smell of the naked climate,
still clothed in gray and acerbic sounds,
and a sorrowful crest of abandoned spray.

Hardened by passions, mounted on my one wave,
lunar, solar, hot and cold, all of a sudden,
I find calm in the throat of the fortunate isles
that are white and sweet as cool hips.

In the humid night, my dress of wet kisses trembles,
charged with the insanity of electrical currents,
heroically divided into vivid dreams
and intoxicating roses that work their arts on me.

Upstream, in the middle of the outer waves,
your parallel body surrenders to my arms
like a fish that is infinitely fastened to my soul,
fast and slow, in the energy beneath the heavens.

Pablo Neruda

Translated from Spanish by Paul Weinfield, © 2015

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