The Body of a Woman (Pablo Neruda’s Love Poem #1)


Body of a woman, white hills, white thighs,

you look like a world, lying in surrender.

My rough peasant’s body digs in you

and makes the son leap from the depth of the earth.

I was alone like a tunnel.  The birds fled from me,

and night swamped me with its crushing invasion.

To survive myself I forged you like a weapon,

like an arrow in my bow, a stone in my sling.

But the hour of vengeance fails, and I love you.

Body of skin, of moss, of eager and firm milk.

Oh the goblets of the breast!  Oh the eyes of absence!

Oh the roses of the pubis!  Oh your voice, slow and sad!

Body of my woman, I will persist in your grace.

My thirst, my boundless desire, my shifting road!

dark river-beds, where the eternal thirst flows

and weariness follows, and the infinite ache.

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