[TT] My Personal Thoughts on "And because Love Battles" by Pablo Neruda

Pablo Neruda (né Neftali Ricardo Reyes Basoalto) was a Chilean Nobel-prize winning poet and politician. He wrote some of my most favourite love poems and I would love to share one with you all today. I have a pocket-sized book of a collection of his love poems that I highly recommend (cover shown below) that you can also purchase here through Amazon (Canada)!

I am not trying to offer a literary analysis to this poem because the purpose of this post is to share this poem and what type of thoughts I had when reading it. Also, the English may seem a little off to some people but that's because this poem was translated from the original language it was written in, Spanish. The first time I read this poem, I was moved to tears.

And because love battles
not only in its burning agricultures
but also in the mouth of men and women,
I will finish off by taking the path away
to those who between my chest and your fragrance
want to interpose their obscure plant.

About me, nothing worse
they will tell you, my love,
than what I told you.

I lived in the prairies
before I got to know you
and I did not wait love but I was
laying in wait for and I jumped on the rose.

What more can they tell you?
I am neither good nor bad but a man,
and they will then associate the danger
of my life, which you know
and which with your passion you shared.

And good, this danger
is danger of love, of complete love
for all life,
for all lives,
and if this love brings us
the death and the prisons,
I am sure that your big eyes,
as when I kiss them,
will then close with pride,
into double pride, love,
with your pride and my pride.

But to my ears they will come before
to wear down the tour
of the sweet and hard love which binds us,
and they will say: “The one
you love,
is not a woman for you,
Why do you love her? I think
you could find one more beautiful,
more serious, more deep,
more other, you understand me, look how she’s light,
and what a head she has,
and look at how she dresses,
and etcetera and etcetera”.

And I in these lines say:
Like this I want you, love,
love, Like this I love you,
as you dress
and how your hair lifts up
and how your mouth smiles,
light as the water
of the spring upon the pure stones,
Like this I love you, beloved.

To bread I do not ask to teach me
but only not to lack during every day of life.
I don’t know anything about light, from where
it comes nor where it goes,
I only want the light to light up,
I do not ask to the night
I wait for it and it envelops me,
And so you, bread and light
And shadow are.

You came to my life
with what you were bringing,
of light and bread and shadow I expected you,
and Like this I need you,
Like this I love you,
and to those who want to hear tomorrow
that which I will not tell them, let them read it here,
and let them back off today because it is early
for these arguments.

Tomorrow we will only give them
a leaf of the tree of our love, a leaf
which will fall on the earth
like if it had been made by our lips
like a kiss which falls
from our invincible heights
to show the fire and the tenderness
of a true love.

This poem is so beautiful to me because love is so often made about more than just the people who share it. We blow this one word into something so taboo, so scandalous, that we forget that sometimes that the core of any relationship is the emotion that you feel within.

People will always tell you what they think about something. This is how I've felt for a lot of things, not just relationships. Everyone has their own opinion and for some reason, as if the situation wasn't tough enough for the people who were a part of it, people think that adding their opinion will somehow make things better. That is not entirely true. People will always say that they mean the best and that they say things only because they care, but how much of it is for their own peace of mind? I've had my fair share of judgement, towards and from other people. But it will always be up to each and every single person to decide what side they want to see.

I wonder if anyone else has ever taken the time to sit down and wonder what a certain poem means to them. So often, we are too busy clearing the fog of the creative uses of language to truly analyze why we have certain reactions to poetry. I hope this post inspires you all to reflect on some of your favourite pieces of literature!

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