Sonnet XVII by Pablo Neruda (Patch Adams)

The poem used in the movie "Patch Adams", was writen by the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. It is Sonnet XVII of Neruda's "100 Love Sonnets" available in English translation by Stephen Tapscott.

Patch!
Aha!

I do not love you as if you were 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'll finish it later.


I told you I'd finish it some other time...

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly without complexities or pride.
I love you because I know no other way then this.
So close that your hand, on my chest, is my hand.
So close, that when you close your eyes, I fall asleep.



I'm sorry... I'm sorry

Here is the complete original poem in Spanish and its translation into English

 

No te amo como si fueras rosa de sal, topacio
o flecha de claveles que propagan el fuego:
te amo como se aman ciertas cosas oscuras,
secretamente, entre la sombra y el alma.

Te amo como la planta que no florece y lleva
dentro de sí, escondida, la luz de aquellas flores,
y gracias a tu amor vive oscuro en mi cuerpo
el apretado aroma que ascendió de la tierra.

Te amo sin saber cómo, ni cuándo, ni de dónde,
te amo directamente sin problemas ni orgullo:
así te amo porque no sé amar de otra manera,

sino así de este modo en que no soy ni eres,
tan cerca que tu mano sobre mi pecho es mía,
tan cerca que se cierran tus ojos con mi sueño.




I do not love you as if you were a rose made of salt or topaz
or an arrow of carnations spreading fire:
I love you the way certain dark things are loved,
secretly, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you like the plant that never blooms,
but conceals within itself the light of those flowers;
and, thanks to your love, the darkness of my body
houses the suffocating aroma that arose from the earth.

I love you without knowing how, when, or where from;
I love you straightforwardly, with neither problems nor pride:
I love you thus, not knowing how to love you otherwise

than this way whereby neither ‘you’ nor ‘I’ exist…
so close that your hand on my chest is mine,
so close that your eyes grow heavy when I tire.

"...You can say anything you want, yes sir, but it's the words that sing, they soar and descend...I bow to them...I love them, I cling to them, I run them down, I bite into them, I melt them down...I love words so much...The unexpected ones...The ones I wait for greedily or stalk until, suddenly, they drop..."

-Pablo Neruda-

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