By Pablo Neruda
Carnal apple, Woman filled, burning moon,
dark smell of seaweed, crush of mud and light,
what secret knowledge is clasped between your pillars?
What primal night does Man touch with his senses?
Ay, Love is a journey through waters and stars,
through suffocating air, sharp tempests of grain:
Love is a war of lightning,
and two bodies ruined by a single sweetness.
Kiss by kiss I cover your tiny infinity,
your margins, your rivers, your diminutive villages,
and a genital fire, transformed by delight,
slips through the narrow channels of blood
to precipitate a nocturnal carnation,
to be, and be nothing but light in the dark.
A more sensual poem one cannot find , so much filled with fascinating visual and tactile imagery. “Apple” is highly suggestive, the forbidden apple. A body’s apple, a woman-filled, a burning moon. “Carnal” , a body adjective has its biblical associations. The smell of sea-weed is an olfactory throwback to the green sea from where we had all come. Secret knowledge is clasped between her two pillars, the mysteries of love’s creation. Mark the word clasped, suggesting the strong holding together of her thighs before they are loosened for love. Man touches the primal night with his senses. Love is a journey through the waters and stars, through sharp tempests of grain.Love is a war of lightning .
The most delicious line is “two bodies ruined by a single sweetness” .Bodies ruined because love leaves a heavy toll on them. A common sweetness that destroys the integrity of the individual bodies and lumps them together into a single ecstatic experience.
“Kiss by kiss I cover your tiny infinity” is exquisite.Tiny infinity suggests a tiny space that contains infinity,with her margins, her rivers,her diminutive villages. Her body is infinite space that is astronomer’s delight, an explorer’s passion. An explosion occurs and is transmitted through the narrow blood channels to precipitate a light in the dark.