Pablo Neruda (1904-1973) was a titan of Latin American poetry. He commands great influence not only among the Spanish speaking countries but throughout the world of poetry. This poem is an example of the latter from his second collection titled “The Captain’s Verses”.
Translated from the Spanish by Donald D. Walsh.
tiny and naked,
as though you would fit
in one of my hands,
as though I’ll clasp you like this
and carry you to my mouth,
my feet touch your feet and my mouth your lips:
you have grown,
your shoulders rise like two hills,
your breasts wander over my breast,
my arm scarcely manages to encircle the thin
new-moon line of your waist:
in love you have loosened yourself like sea water:
I can scarcely measure the sky’s most spacious eyes
and I lean down to your mouth to kiss the earth.