But the rest of the lines made me realize, this was not the traditional love poem that exalted the lover’s virtues, it was one that explained the unfathomable depth—and maybe, the irrationality—of true and lasting love. I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz, I love this peom, loved it for years after I came across it in a story that near and dear to my heart. This is a poem with a heartening twist. Although not mentioned explicitly in this piece, Neruda dedicated the collection Sonnet XVII appeared to his third wife. This makes it easier for the reader to see these lines applying to their own life. I love you as the plant that never blooms| but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers.| Thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance risen from the earth| lives darkly in my body. A poet might choose to insert a line break before the end of a phrase or sentence. I love you as the plant that never blooms but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers; He states that their love is the same as the love of “obscure” or dark, “things.” There is no clear description of what these dark things are. His love is not dependent on a flower being in full bloom and at the pinnacle of its beauty. The speaker states he doesn’t “love you” as he might love a “rose of salt, topaz.” A “rose of salt” likely refers to a flower that grows near the ocean and takes in saltwater. The first line re-emphasizes the fact that his love is not based on beauty. Literature is one of her greatest passions which she pursues through analysing poetry on Poem Analysis. Sonnet XVII Pablo Neruda. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. These include ‘If You Forget Me,’ ‘Tonight I Can Write,‘ and ‘A Dog Has Died.’ As the title suggests, the latter is about the death of the poet’s reserved and yet joyful dog. I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off. Or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off. What's your thoughts? I love you as the plant that never blooms How unexpected and beautiful its message happens to be. Somewhere in the stash of angst-ridden journals I keep in a drawer at home, the photocopied poem is pasted on an empty page. That glorious, glorious line break from “Therefore I love you because I know no other way” to “than this.” I am always in awe with how clever this poem turned out. In the next two lines, the speaker thanks his lover for the way that she is. A salt-rose, a topaz, and even the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off—those were stunning images of something to value, of something easy to love because of their beauty. The word appears nine times in the text, and the speaker spends the entire first two stanzas attempting to relate his feelings of love to other objects. The latter is one of the most important techniques at work in ‘Sonnet XVII.’ As Neruda’s speaker, or Neruda, as the case may be, it can be seen throughout the poem describing his love for the listener. Sonnet XVII by Pablo Neruda I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz, Or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off. I read along with him, silently mouthing the words, thrilled and confused by the staggering and yet, straightforward imagery. Anaphora appears when a poet uses the same word or words to start multiple lines. In the third line of the stanza, though, he states that he loves her this way because he doesn’t know how else to love. This makes his participation in the relationship more important and actually goes against the previous statement about pride. You can read the full poem One Hundred Love Sonnets: XVII here. They exist deeper and are present in the “shadow and the soul.” This makes it seem as if his emotions are forbidden or ephemeral. The second half of a sonnet often also contains an answer to a question asked in the first or an elaboration on the first’s details. The next lines had seemed equally unflattering, I thought. Love Sonnet 17 by Pablo Neruda. One Hundred Love Sonnets: XVII by Pablo Neruda, The Book of Questions, III by Pablo Neruda. I love you as the plant that never blooms But carries in itself the light of hidden flowers; Thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance. There is no better way to put it. These objects, a rose and a flaming arrow are traditional representatives of love. Pablo Neruda is one of the most well-known and best-loved poets of the 20th century. There is something else to their relationship beyond the traditional patterns and aesthetics of love. It is important to note that ‘Sonnet XVII’ was translated from the original Spanish. Than this: where I does not exist nor you| so close that your hand on my chest is my hand| so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep. The beauty of it lies in the rawness of the feelings it carries and how it describes his love in unfiltered yet sincere words. I love you as the plant that never blooms. A reader will immediately understand that this piece is about love. So far, the speaker has presented his love for this person as very singular. His emotions go far beyond the physical. ( Log Out / A plant that never blooms. It was originally published in the collection, Cien sonetos de amor or 100 Love Sonnets. He doesn’t love his partner as one would love the brightness of a flaming arrow. The first two lines put this sentiment very beautifully. in secret, between the shadow and the soul. He loves something about this person that is deeper than the skin. Subscribe to our mailing list and get new poetry analysis updates straight to your inbox. So close that your hand on my chest is my hand. He knows it will emerge in the spring, but for now, it is carried around silently. While translated poetry often experiences a slight and unfortunate, though unintentional diminishment, an accidental dwarfing caused by the barriers of language, Neruda’s works retain their vivid imagery and vast, hard-hitting meanings. After logging in you can close it and return to this page. As my theology professor would say, this is a difference between “falling in love” and actually “loving.” Love—with its becauses, and more importantly, with its despite ofs. He states that it is closer to how one would feel about a. The space between the two sections of the poem is called the “turn.” This means that something about the poem, whether that is the speaker, subject matter, or opinion of the narrator, changes. In the case of ‘Sonnet XVII,’ Neruda uses anaphora and repetition more generally. The first two stanzas contain four lines and are known as quatrains. Oneness in the face of reality. Subscribe to our mailing list to get the latest and greatest poetry updates. This wasn’t a poem that spoke of love at its first blush, with its rose-colored glasses and the consequent blindness to the lover’s flaws. He is clearly proud of his own fidelity and purity of heart. It is like the love one would feel for a flower that is not blooming, existing needless of exterior beauty. Emma graduated from East Carolina University with a BA in English, minor in Creative Writing, BFA in Fine Art, and BA in Art Histories. Neruda uses phrases like “I love you as one loves certain obscure things, / secretly, between the shadow and the soul” to describe this relationship. so I love you because I know no other way Ads are what helps us bring you premium content! Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Than this: where I does not exist, nor you. Indeed it is. Thank you! When they are together, the “hand upon [his] chest” is both hers and his. The next section describes how his love is going to exist, no matter what. As with most love sonnets, the themes in this piece are quite clear. ❤ It's one of the most unexpectedly sweet poems I know. Instead, he takes a more straightforward approach and states that he loves her no matter what happens. For example, the transition between lines one and two of the second stanza and lines three and four of the same stanza. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. But I feel like I love it even more now after reading those few thoughts of yours, and seeing it through your perspective. My creative writing teacher furnishes the entire class with a copy of Pablo Neruda’s Sonnet XVII. Compared to the previous images, this one is fairly clear. I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret, between the shadow and the soul. He describes an. than this: where I do not exist, nor you, ‘One Hundred Love Sonnets: XVII’ is one of Neruda’s most famous sonnets. This makes it likely that she was the intended listener and the lover to whom he refers. In “Sonnet XVII,” the speaker talks about their love towards a woman making comparisons to other things deemed beautiful as well claiming that his love is indescribable as he truly feels a connection towards this woman as his love for this woman feels like it consumes his whole existence. In the next two lines, the speaker describes how it is that he does love his partner. That means that any pattern of rhyme or rhythm has been lost. I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz, or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off. Even without access to the title of the collection, this work appears in. Definitely one of the best and most honest love poems in history. […] arrow of carnations that propagate fire: It is easiest to take this statement at face value. ‘Tonight I Can Write’ is an emotional poem in which the speaker depicts his love, loneliness, and hopes. Enjambment is a formal literary device that is concerned with where a line breaks. It is one of those few poems I know by heart. Love Sonnet XVII by Pablo Neruda. From the 1940s on, his works reflected the political struggle of the left and the socio-historical developments in … I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz, or the arrow of the carnations the fire shoots off. For example, “I love you.” There are also broader examples of repetition in that Neruda uses similar line structures throughout the poem. She gives off a “tight” or quickening aroma that has seeped into his body and changed him. At this point, it is fairly easy to see the reasoning behind the comparison the speaker is attempting. The final three lines speak to the way the lovers have become interconnected. The speaker keeps the love he feels inside his body, just like his lover (like a flower) keeps her light and beauty inside her. [He loves her] directly without problems or pride: His love is not defined or plagued by exterior problems or those which he might create for himself. but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers; I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. The last stanza has six lines and is known as a sextet.