Word Play

Poetry Friday

Girl Lithe and Tawny

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

A black ravenous sun bathes you in the thread
of your black mane, when you stretch your arms.
You play with the sun as with a little brook
and it leaves you with the eyes of dark ponds.

Girl lithe and tawny, nothing draws me towards you.
Everything bears me farther away, as though you were
You are the frenzied youth of the bee,
the drunkeness of the wave, the power of the

My sombre heart searches for you, nevertheless,
and I love your joyful body, your slender and flowing
Dark daisy, sweet and definitive
like the wheat-field and the sun, the poppy and the water.

  — Pablo Neruda (1904 – 1973), Chilean writer and Communist politician.
     Translation by W.S. Merwin