Prose from the Pros #5: Pablo Neruda

Body of A Woman

Body of a woman, white hills, white thighs,
you look like a world, lying in surrender.
My rough peasant's body digs in you
 and makes the son leap from the depth of the earth.

I was alone like a tunnel.  The birds fled from me,
and night swamped me with its crushing invasion.
To survive myself I forged you like a weapon,
like an arrow in my bow, a stone in my sling.

But the hour of vengeance falls, and I love you.
Body of skin, of moss, of eager and firm milk.
Oh the goblets of the breast! Oh the eyes of absence!
Oh the roses of the pubis! Oh your voice, slow and sad!

Body of my woman, I will persist in your grace.
My thirst, my boundless desire, my shifting road! 
Dark river-beds where the eternal thirst flows
and weariness follows, and the infinite ache.  


Amie Kaufman said…
Oh, this is beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing. I adore the words 'you look like a world'.
Michael Offutt said…
If you like this, Laura, you'll love J.M. Coetzee's writing. In Waiting For The Barbarians, he describes a woman that the main character washes in a way I've never seen before including a passage in which the protagonist has a dream which includes a section on pubic hair that takes flight ala honeybees. I was like...hmmm...I'll never be able to write like this LOL. Maybe that's why he won a Nobel.

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