What is Your Favorite?

There are those among us who develop life long passions, “favorites,” or interests. I am not one of those individuals. One of the most annoying aspects of social networking sites in my opinion is generating lists of “favorites.” Why would this task seem so daunting? Its simple really, my opinions and change rather rapidly. It makes me a unique individual, but I spend majority of my time half-heartedly enjoying something and then moving in a totally different direction.
Whether it be music, movies, art, or career aspirations, there is a good chance it will have changed by next week. In fact, I rather envy those who develop such a strong appreciation for something that they know it inside and out–such as memorizing all of the albums ever made by say The Beetles and the release dates. I am not sure what use that information will ever have, but I envy the drive behind it all the same.
That is not to say that I never develop a true appreciation for anything, but it is generally to a lesser degree than others. I cannot even answer what my favorite color is. Get to the point right? The point is, I do have one favorite that has stayed the same for about six or seven years for now, and I would like to share that with you. Love sonnet XVII by Pablo Neruda.
Pablo Neruda although not a household name, won the Nobel Prize in 1971 for his literature. He is also known for his political interests, (once an active member of the communist party in Chile.) What astounds me about his poetry is how well it translates into english. Even in english his work keeps the tone of the poem.
I hope that you will all enjoy this and share with us some of your favorites. I would also like to hear your opinions and takes on this sonnet.
Love Sonnet XVII by Pablo Neruda
I do not love you as if you were a salt rose, or topaz
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

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.

eelliso1 is a contributing writer for projectgroupthink.wordpress.com. Get instant updates for this blog via Twitter: PGTblog.
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8 Comments

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8 responses to “What is Your Favorite?

  1. Tom

    I suppose it depends if you throw the word favorite around casually.

    I do not have a favorite color, and if you asked me 10 times you would probably get 10 different answers.

    Quick, random, and mildly off topic question: Is it necessary to have a favorite color and/or number, and does filling out that question in chain emails really predict your true love? I waited about 10 minutes for my screen to pop up with my true loves name. It never happened.

    i suppose to have a “favorite” of something you have to have a connection, or some other strong liking towards it for some reason. I have few favorites in life, but many things I just prefer and they may not necessarily be my favorite i.e. I prefer the Cleveland Indians to win because they’re the local team, but I have no favorite because I don’t have a strong desire for the sport of baseball anymore.

  2. I am one of those who will fill in the lists on social networks, but I never consider this anywhere near all inclusive. Indeed I do have certain things I shall forever love, favorite musical Phantom Of The Opera as an example. But the lists while usually not changing, are forever added to. Black was always the color (or non color) I would chose as my “favorite” But deep hues of blues and purples fit in that catagory as well.

    I never take the lists too seriously as they are ever growing process as I change,learn and discover. And that is why we have the power to delete and edit ;.) because we all do change to some degree. When I answer the survey’s, polls and fill in the blanks on social networks I am “in the moment”, it is a part of me, for a moment or forever. It is not a commitment in time and space, merely a reflection of who you are at that moment. It is a way for others to touch a piece of you they maybe as yet do not know. Perhaps fear of letting people know you, letting people glimpse inside could be what makes it a daunting task for you.

  3. I regard “favorites” as something that one can always return to for whatever it is one may need or desire (fill-in-the-blank determined by the individual). Or it may be some singular experience that one relishes and enjoys reliving.

    Some things I find I can always return to and enjoy immensely despite what changes I’ve been through:
    the writings of Albert Camus
    midnight blue nail polish
    frankincense

    The sonnet… this line triggers a lot of thoughts, reactions and emotions in me:
    “I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
    in secret, between the shadow and the soul. ”
    I can relate to it in some ways that I am not sure I can articulate at this moment, but the ways that I relate to it are not particularly comfortable for me. I am drawn to it as much as I desire to withdraw from it.

  4. davidrsheehan

    I have very few things I will ever say as favorite. But there are some things I come back to time and time again.

    As far as poetry that moves me:

    Odi et amo. Quare id faciam, fortasse requiris.
    Nescio, sed fieri sentio et excrucior.
    -Catullus, carmina 85

    I also enjoy:

    Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
    Enwrought with golden and silver light,
    The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
    Of night and light and the half-light,
    I would spread the cloths under your feet:
    But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
    I have spread my dreams under your feet;
    Tread softly, because you tread on my dreams.

    -William Butler Yeats, He wishes for the cloths of heaven

  5. soahki

    I love Pablo Neruda! Below is my favorite poem of his. I especially love the ending:

    “I walked around as you do, investigating
    the endless star,
    and in my net, during the night, I woke up naked,
    the only thing caught, a fish trapped inside the wind.”

    This is exactly how I often feel…

    Enigmas

    You’ve asked me what the lobster is weaving there with
    his golden feet?
    I reply, the ocean knows this.
    You say, what is the ascidia waiting for in its transparent
    bell? What is it waiting for?
    I tell you it is waiting for time, like you.
    You ask me whom the Macrocystis alga hugs in its arms?
    Study, study it, at a certain hour, in a certain sea I know.
    You question me about the wicked tusk of the narwhal,
    and I reply by describing
    how the sea unicorn with the harpoon in it dies.
    You enquire about the kingfisher’s feathers,
    which tremble in the pure springs of the southern tides?
    Or you’ve found in the cards a new question touching on
    the crystal architecture
    of the sea anemone, and you’ll deal that to me now?
    You want to understand the electric nature of the ocean
    spines?
    The armored stalactite that breaks as it walks?
    The hook of the angler fish, the music stretched out
    in the deep places like a thread in the water?

    I want to tell you the ocean knows this, that life in its
    jewel boxes
    is endless as the sand, impossible to count, pure,
    and among the blood-colored grapes time has made the
    petal
    hard and shiny, made the jellyfish full of light
    and untied its knot, letting its musical threads fall
    from a horn of plenty made of infinite mother-of-pearl.

    I am nothing but the empty net which has gone on ahead
    of human eyes, dead in those darknesses,
    of fingers accustomed to the triangle, longitudes
    on the timid globe of an orange.

    I walked around as you do, investigating
    the endless star,
    and in my net, during the night, I woke up naked,
    the only thing caught, a fish trapped inside the wind.

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