Passionate Pablo Neruda Quotes to Inspire Your Summer Romance

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At only 19 years old, Chilean poet Pablo Neruda published his second collection of poetry, Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair (Veinte poemas de amor y una canción desesperada), quickly establishing his place in the literary canon. His erotic and often explicit works celebrate sex, love, desire, and longing — amorous odes he equated with the forces of nature, influenced by the wilderness of his home country. In Neruda’s poems, the beaches, fields, sky, and seasons are active agents of love, underlining its cyclical nature. In celebration of Nerda’s 110th birthday and the torrid heat ahead of us, we’re sharing fragments of Neruda’s poetry that capture the passionate, fleeting nature of summer romance.

“But my words become stained with your love./ You occupy everything, you occupy everything.”

“I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,/ I love you directly without problems or pride.”

“Invade me with your hot mouth; interrogate me/ with your night-eyes, if you want— only let me/ steer like a ship through your name; let me rest there.”

“Love, what a long way, to arrive at a kiss.”

“Holding your hips, I hold the wheat in its fields again.”

“But when I hold you I hold everything that is—/ sand, time, the tree of the rain,/ everything is alive so that I can be alive:/ without moving I can see it all:/ in your life I see everything that lives.”

“You and I, Love, together we ratify the silence,/ while the sea destroys its perpetual statues,/ collapses its towers of wild speed and whiteness:/ because in the weavings of those invisible fabrics,/ galloping water, incessant sand,/ we make the only permanent tenderness.”

“The sea dabbles at those tanned feet, repeating/ their shape, just imprinted in the sand.”

“May your statuesque hips in the water make/ a new measure—a swan, a lily—, as you float/ your form through that eternal crystal.”

“I crave your mouth, your voice, your hair.”

“I hunger for your sleek laugh,/ your hands the color of a savage harvest,/ hunger for the pale stones of your fingernails,/ I want to eat your skin like a whole almond.”

“Body of a woman, white hills, white thighs,/ You look like a world lying in surrender.”

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

“In you the rivers sing and my soul flees in them/ as you desire, and you send it where you will./ Aim my road on your bow of hope/ and in a frenzy I will free my flock of arrows.”

“I feel your eyes traveling, and the autumn is far off.”

“The birds of night peck at the first stars/ that flash like my soul when I love you.”

“You have deep eyes in which the night flails./ Cool arms of flowers and a lap of rose.”

“Drunk with pines and long kisses,/ like summer I steer the fast sail of the roses.”

“In you is the illusion of each day./ You arrive like dew to the cupped flowers./ You undermine the horizon with your absence./ Eternally in flight like the wave.”

“My words rained over you, stroking you./ A long time I have loved the sunned mother-of-pearl of your body./ I go so far as to think that you own the universe./ I will bring you happy flowers from the mountains, bluebells,/ dark hazels, and rustic baskets of kisses.”

“In my sky at twilight you are like a cloud/ and your form and color are the way I love them./ You are mine, mine, woman with sweet lips/ and in your life my infinite dreams live.”

“Far away the sea sounds and resounds./ This is a port./ Here I love you.”

“Girl lithe and tawny, the sun that forms/ the fruits, that plumps the grains, that curls seaweeds/ filled your body with joy, and your luminous eyes/ and your mouth that has the smile of water.”

“A black yearning sun is braided into the strands/ of your black mane, when you stretch your arms./ You play with the sun as with a little brook/ and it leaves two dark pools in your eyes.”

“Through nights like this one I held her in my arms./ I kissed her again and again under the endless sky.”