Walt Whitman Wednesday: “I give you my hand!”

Camerado, I give you my hand!
I give you my love more precious than money,
I give you myself before preaching or law;
Will you give me yourself? will you come travel with me?
Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?

—Walt Whitman, “Song of the Open Road, #15,” Leaves of Grass


Pablo Neruda Thursday: “Between the Shadow and the Soul”

I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way

than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

—Pablo Neruda, from “XVII,” 100 Love Sonnets

Walt Whitman Wednesday: “Sometimes With One I Love”

Sometimes with one I love I fill myself with rage for fear I effuse unreturn’d love,
But now I think there is no unreturn’d love, the pay is certain one way or another,
(I loved a certain person ardently and my love was not return’d,
Yet out of that I have written these songs.

—Walt Whitman, “Sometimes With One I Love,” Leaves of Grass