Pablo Neruda: “Sonnet 89” (from Cien Sonetos de Amor)

Sonnet 89 (from Cien Sonetos de Amor)

When I die, I want your hands on my eyes:
I want the light and the wheat of the hands I adore
to spread their freshness across me once again:
I want to feel the softness that has shaped my life.

I want for you to live while I wait for you, asleep,
for your ears to keep on listening to the wind,
for you to smell the sea that we both loved together,
to walk across the sand that we feel beneath our feet.

I want what I love to go on without me,
and you whom I love and sang about above all else
to continue to bloom, to be always in full flower

so you can complete what my love has set in motion
so my shadow can wander the long length of your hair,
so everything can understand the reason for my song.

Pablo Neruda

Translated from Spanish by Paul Weinfield, © 2016

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