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Pablo Neruda's Love Sonnet 11: A Translation

11
Tengo hambre de tu boca, de tu voz, de tu pelo
y por las calles voy sin nutrirme, callado,
no me sostiene el pan, el alba me desquicia,
busco el sonido líquido de tus pies en el día.

Estoy hambriento de tu risa resbalada,
de tus manos color de furioso granero,
tengo hambre de la pálida piedra de tus uñas,
quiero comer tu piel como una intacta almendra.

Quiero comer el rayo quemado en tu hermosura,
la nariz soberana del arrogante rostro,
quiero comer la sombra fugaz de tus pestañas

y hambriento vengo y voy olfateando el crepúsculo
buscándote, buscando tu corazón caliente
como un puma en la soledad de Quitratúe.

11.
I hunger for your mouth, your voice and hair,
and up the streets I go, shut up and starving.
Bread does nothing for me.  I grow queazy with the dawn,
and seek out all day the watery sound of your steps.

I'm hungry for your smile slipping away
and your furious-colored grainy hands,
hunger for the pale stone of your nails.
I wish to eat your skin as I would an almond, intact.

I want to dine on the charred light in your beauty,
your arrogant face and its sovereign nose,
to eat the fleeting shadow of your lashes.

And, still hungry, I come and go sniffing out the dusk,
looking for you, looking for your hot heart,
like a puma in Quitratúe's solitude.

Translation: Terence Clarke

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Quitratúe- A southern, volcanic, highland region near the town of Temuco, Chile, where Neruda spent his youth.