Saturday, November 22, 2008

Equal Distance


I first read the Love Sonnets of Pablo Neruda as a teenager tentatively in love not sure how to articulate how I felt. It was a powerful and transforming force taking over my life as I as had known it till then, leaving me hopelessly unsure of myself around the object of my affections. Neruda's poetry was my favorite escape at the time - his words gave love depth and verve that went far beyond the merely powerful :

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.

When it came time for loss, I turned to Neruda's poetry for comfort - to his incomparable way of elevating pain to a thing of beauty:

The same night whitening the same the same trees.
We, we who were, are the no longer the same.

 Reading these poems after years today, both the emotions love and loss appear equally distant - I have been single a while.

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