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From the archipelago you have hair of larch fibres,
flesh that was realised by aeons of time,
veins that have known oceans of timber,
green blood dropped from the sky into memory.

No one can recapture my heart, lost
among so many roots, in the bitter cool
of the sun’s rays multiplied by seething of waters:
there lives the shadow that does not depart with me.

So you rose out of the South like an islet,
crowned, populated, by plumage and timber,
and I sensed the fragrance of wandering woodland.

I found the dark honey I knew in the forest,
and touched at your hips the petals of shadow
that were born with me and that formed my soul.


Pablo Neruda, 1959
Translation by A. S. Kline

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