Getting Married

Posted by – August 3, 2009

We’re with some friends today who are getting married, and with other friends, friends of friends, family of friends. It’s lovely to be around all these people celebrating the love & commitment of two fantastic people.

There are two poems that will be part of their ceremony below the break.

Love Sonnet XVII by Pablo Neruda

I don’t love you as if you were a rose of salt, topaz
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire.
I love you as one loves certain obscure things,
secretly, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that doesn’t bloom but carries
the light of those flowers, hidden, within itself,
and thanks to your love, the tight aroma that arose
from the earth lives dimly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you directly, without problems or pride:
I love you like this because I don’t know any other way to love,

except in this form, in which there is no I or you,
so close that your hand upon my chest is mine,
so close that your eyes close with my dreams.

**

“Variation on the word Sleep” by Margaret Atwood

I would like to watch you sleeping,
which may not happen.
I would like to watch you,
sleeping. I would like to sleep
with you, to enter
your sleep as its smooth dark wave
slides over my head

and walk with you through that lucent
wavering forest of bluegreen leaves
with its watery sun & three moons
towards the cave where you must descend,
towards your worst fear

I would like to give you the silver
branch, the small white flower, the one
word that will protect you
from the grief at the center
of your dream, from the grief
at the center. I would like to follow
you up the long stairway
again & become
the boat that would row you back
carefully, a flame
in two cupped hands
to where your body lies
beside me, and you enter
it as easily as breathing in

I would like to be the air
that inhabits you for a moment
only. I would like to be that unnoticed
& that necessary.

2 Comments on Getting Married

  1. Pablo Neruda’s 20 Love Poems and a Song of Despair is one of my very favorite books. I can’t imagine a better poet for a marriage ceremony.

  2. Lea says:

    I’m glad you enjoy Neruda’s early poetry, so possibly you’ll like his “100 Love Sonnets”, written in his 50’s or so; like wine, his poetry became much better with age … and life. My daughter and I read a bilingual version of one of the sonnets at my son’s wedding and certainly agree with your opinion.

Leave a Reply