Here I Love You

“Here I love you and the horizon hides you in vain.
I love you still among these cold things.
Sometimes my kisses go on those heavy vessels
that cross the sea towards no arrival.
I see myself forgotten like those old anchors.
The piers sadden when the afternoon moors there. 
My life grows tired, hungry to no purpose.
I love what I do not have. You are so far.
My loathing wrestles with the slow twilights.
But night comes and starts to sing to me.” 
― Pablo NerudaTwenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair

The Return Journey

Poet

My life was a geography
I surveyed over and over again,
a book of maps or dreams.
In America I awakened.

Were these perhaps dreams of rivers and towns?
Was there nothing real about these countries?
Are there three steps in my journey:
dreaming, waking, and dying?

I’ve fallen asleep among statues
and upon waking found myself alone.
Where are the benevolent shadows?
Did I love and in truth was I loved?

It was a geography of dream,
a magical history.
I know by memory the islands and faces
visited or, perhaps, dreamed.

Upon the spoils of the universe
– fruit, woman, the immensity –
fell all of my inebriated senses,
like drunken pirates of the sea.

At last I found in harbor,
a naked girl, perfectly shaped:
in her great, tremulous water
I quenched my human thirst.

Later came the maiden of wheat,
the vegetal virgin;
but, always, from each door
the eternal Other called me.

From snow to palm tree
I saw cities of the earth
where God had cleaned the windows
and no one wanted to die.

I saw the arid earth of the bull
– last refuge of blue –
and a country where pine trees
raised their green obelisks to the light.

Did I dream this face on the wall,
that hand upon my skin?
This street of apples
and doves, did I dream it all?

The harbor like equal sections
of a crystal watermelon,
and islands like seeds:
was this a dream and nothing more?

Is this dust the mortal ash
that still clings to my feet?
Were they not harbors but years,
those places I anchored in?

Only in the most distinct languages
did I become fluent in solitude
and graduated as a doctor of dreams.
I came to America to awake.

Again, in my throat burns
the thirst to live, the thirst to die,
and so I humbly bend down
to this earth of maize.

Land of fruit and tombs,
sole property of the sun:
I come from the world – O great dream! –
with a map scrolled in my voice.

-Jorge Carrera Andrade

Ode To the Sea

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HERE
Surrounding the island 
There’s sea.
But what sea? 
It’s always overflowing. 
Says yes, 
Then no, 
Then no again,
And no, 
Says yes 
In blue 
In sea spray
Raging, 
Says no 
And no again. 
It can’t be still.
It stammers 
My name is sea. 

It slaps the rocks 
And when they aren’t convinced, 
Strokes them 
And soaks them 
And smothers them with kisses. 
With seven green tongues 
Of seven green dogs 
Or seven green tigers 
Or seven green seas,
Beating its chest,
Stammering its name, 

Oh Sea, 
This is your name. 
Oh comrade ocean, 
Don’t waste time 
Or water 
Getting so upset 
Help us instead. 
We are meager fishermen, 
Men from the shore 
Who are hungry and cold 
And you’re our foe.
Don’t beat so hard, 
Don’t shout so loud, 
Open your green coffers, 
Place gifts of silver in our hands.
Give us this day 
our daily fish.

-Pablo Neruda

She was a phantom of delight When first she gleam'd upon my sight; A lovely apparition, sent To be a moment's ornament; Her eyes as stars of twilight fair; Like twilight's, too, her dusky hair; But all things else about her drawn From May-time and the cheerful dawn; A dancing shape, an image gay, To haunt, to startle, and waylay.   I saw her upon nearer view, A Spirit, yet a Woman too! Her household motions light and free, And steps of virgin liberty; A countenance in which did meet Sweet records, promises as sweet; A creature not too bright or good For human nature's daily food; For transient sorrows, simple wiles, Praise, blame, love, kisses, tears, and smiles.   And now I see with eye serene The very pulse of the machine; A being breathing thoughtful breath, A traveller between life and death; The reason firm, the temperate will, Endurance, foresight, strength, and skill; A perfect Woman, nobly plann'd, To warn, to comfort, and command; And yet a Spirit still, and bright With something of angelic light. -William Wordsworth

She was a phantom of delight
When first she gleam’d upon my sight;
A lovely apparition, sent
To be a moment’s ornament;
Her eyes as stars of twilight fair;
Like twilight’s, too, her dusky hair;
But all things else about her drawn
From May-time and the cheerful dawn;
A dancing shape, an image gay,
To haunt, to startle, and waylay.
I saw her upon nearer view,
A Spirit, yet a Woman too!
Her household motions light and free,
And steps of virgin liberty;
A countenance in which did meet
Sweet records, promises as sweet;
A creature not too bright or good
For human nature’s daily food;
For transient sorrows, simple wiles,
Praise, blame, love, kisses, tears, and smiles.
And now I see with eye serene
The very pulse of the machine;
A being breathing thoughtful breath,
A traveller between life and death;
The reason firm, the temperate will,
Endurance, foresight, strength, and skill;
A perfect Woman, nobly plann’d,
To warn, to comfort, and command;
And yet a Spirit still, and bright
With something of angelic light.
-William Wordsworth

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