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Pablo Neruda's Love Sonnet 5: A Translation

5
No te toqué la noche ni el aire ni la aurora,
sólo la tierra, la virtud de los racimos,
las manzanas que crecen oyendo el agua pura,
el barro y las resinas de tu país fragante.

Desde Quinchamalí donde hicieron tus ojos
hasta tus pies creados para mí en la Frontera
eres la greda oscura que conozco:
en tus caderas toco de nuevo todo el trigo.

Tal vez tú no sabías, araucana,
que cuando antes de amarte me olvidé de tus besos
mi corazón quedó recordando tu boca

y fui como un herido por las calles
hasta que comprendí que había encontrado,
amor, mi territorio de besos y volcanes.

5
I did not touch your night, the air, or the dawn.
Only the earth, the virtue of the clustered
apples that grow within hearing of pure water,
the mud and resins of your fragrant land.

From Quinchamali, where your eyes were formed,
to your feet, made up for me in La Frontera,
you're the dark-chalk earth I know.
I touch once more, in your hips, every sheaf of wheat.

Maybe you didn't know, Araucana,
that when, before loving you, I forgot about your kiss,
my heart carried on recalling your mouth,

and on I went, wounded in the streets,
until I knew that I had found,
my love, my territory's volcano and its kiss.

Translation: Terence Clarke

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Quinchimali- A town near Chillan, which is the birthplace of Matilde.

La Frontera- The mountainous region, south of Santiago, Chile, where Neruda grew up.

Araucana- "Araucan woman." A reference to the Araucan region, from which Matilde comes.