Sonnet XXVII

Matisse

By Pablo Neruda

Naked, you are simple as one of your hands,
smooth, earthy, small, transparent, round:
you have moon-lines, apple-pathways:
naked, you are slender as a naked grain of wheat.

Naked, you are blue as a night in Cuba;
you have vines and stars in your hair;
naked you are spacious and yellow
as summer in a golden church.

Naked, you are tiny as one of your nails –
curved, subtle, rosy, till the day is born
and you withdraw to the underground world,

as if down a long tunnel of clothing and of chores:
your clear light dims, gets dressed – drops its leaves –
and becomes a naked hand again.

Originally Published in Cien Sonetos De Amor, Santiago de Chile: [Editorial Universitaria], 1959. Translation by Gustavo Escobedo.

Image Credit: Henri Matisse sketch

 

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