Pablo Neruda Sonnet XVII


Recording from 2012 performance at Boston University

           Melanie Burbules, mezzo-soprano

           Emilie Campanelli, violin

           Carolyn Regula, cello

           Carley Yanuck, percussion

           Mo Zhao, conductor

English text:

Pablo Neruda -- Sonnet XVII
(English Translation)

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love, a thick fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives in my body like the night.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way

than this: where you do not exist, nor do I,
so close that my hand on my chest is your hand,
so close that my eyes close as you fall asleep.