Pablo Neruda: “Sonnet 8” (from Cien Sonetos de Amor)

Sonnet 8 (from Cien Sonetos de Amor)

If only your eyes weren’t the color of the moon,
the color of a day filled with work, clay, and fire,
if even in a cage you didn’t move with such grace,
if only you weren’t a week made of amber,

if only you were other than the golden moment
when autumn makes his way up the vines,
if you weren’t the bread that the fragrant moon
kneads as she walks across the flour-sky,

then oh my love, perhaps I would not love you!
But when I embrace you, I embrace everything,
the sand and time and trees made of rain,

and everything is alive so I can be alive:
and without going far, I can see all existence:
in your life, I see everything wanting to live.

Pablo Neruda

Translated from Spanish by Paul Weinfield, © 2016

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