Thursday, April 22, 2010

Neruda's Poetry: Sonnet XVII - Patch Adams

This is the forth of my April is Poetry Month Neruda posts. If you have not read the previous posts to celebrate poetry month and previous blogs relating Pablo Neruda's great poetry go here to catch up. He is just my most favourite poet.

My selection for this week is another one of his better known love poems.  You might remember it if you saw the film Patch Adams, starring Robin Williams.  Throughout the movie Patch recites Pablo Neruda's Sonnet XVII to Corinne. He finishes the last two stanzas at her gravesite. 

I was able to find a video of the Patch Adams scene at the gravesite.

I like the simplicity of this poem and the statement it makes.  The line "so intimate that when I fall asleep it is your eyes that close" makes a beautiful statement about how deep the bonds of love can be.     

For other thoughts about this poem by a poetry blogger who writes A Blog To Pass The Time, go to  There are a few reader comments providing their analysis of the poem.

Sonnet XVII Put To Music
Following  is a very easy going laid back musical rendition of the poem set to a modern melody.   It is appropriate to the poem because the lyric expresses a love that is so natural and easy it just is there without any reasoning or questioning. Listening to this video makes me feel like I am being held tight and will be in love forever.

Brett Macias sings Sonnet XVII
Music by Brett Macias
Based on the Sonnet by Pablo Neurda

Sonnet XVII (100 Love Sonnets, 1960)

I don't love you as if you were the salt-rose, topaz
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:
I love you as certain dark things are loved,
secretly, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that doesn't bloom and carries
hidden within itself the light of those flowers,
and thanks to your love, darkly in my body
lives the dense fragrance that rises from the earth.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you simply, without problems or pride:
I love you in this way because I don't know any other way of loving

but this, in which there is no I or you,
so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand,
so intimate that when I fall asleep it is your eyes that close.

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