Your Eyes Close as I Fall Asleep

September 19, 2011 in Poetry, The Daily Blog

I love this poem. I first read it in my friend Michelle’s car, because she was using it in her wedding program. I fell in love with it instantly and used it as part of my toast at Michelle’s wedding. We then used it in our wedding. This poem, to me, is the epitome of love – so close, yet so mysterious and unknowable. Our friend Mark read it at our wedding. You’ve probably heard it before, but that’s okay. Things have the tendency to strike us differently at different times. 

Sonnet XVII by Pablo Neruda

I do not love you as if you were a salt rose, or topaz
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

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.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
So I love you because I know no other way

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.

Leave a Reply