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Pablo Neruda's Love Sonnet 37: A Translation

37
Oh amor, oh rayo loco y amenaza purpúrea,
me visitas y subes por tu fresca escalera
el castillo que el tiempo coronó de neblinas,
las pálidas paredes del corazón cerrado.

Nadie sabrá que sólo fue la delicadeza
construyendo cristales duros como ciudades
y que la sangre abría túneles desdichados
sin que su monarquía derribara el invierno.

Por eso, amor, tu boca, tu piel, tu luz, tus penas,
fueron el patrimonio de la vida, los dones
sagrados de la lluvia, de la naturaleza

que recibe y levanta la gravidez del grano,
la tempestad secreta del vino en las bodegas,
la llamarada del cereal en el suelo.

37
Oh love, oh mad moonbeam and purplish threat,
you come to me, come up your chill stairway,
the castle crowned by time with clouds,
the pale walls of a shut-up heart.

No one will know that it was simple delicacy,
this building of crystals hard as cities,
and that the blood will open up such despondent tunnels,
without which their monarchy would bring down even winter.

That's why, my love, your mouth, your skin, your light and troubles
were life's inheritances, the sacred
givens of the rain, of nature itself,

that receives and bears up the child-bearing seed,
the secret storm of wine in its cellars,
the sudden flame of grain within the soil.

Translation: Terence Clarke