MSP Valentine’s Gift Idea #5: Pablo Neruda (or at least his poems)

Pablo Neruda wrote many heart-wrenching or soul-lifting poems of romance (or despair). Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair is a good choice – in fact, it is this collection that apparently helped to launch Neruda’s career.  Another good Neruda collection is 100 Love Sonnets, which I happen to have - one of my favorite phrases from this book is "the land of kisses and volcanoes" – it comes from a poem that part of goes like this:

"…Woman from Arauco, maybe you didn’t know
how before I loved you I forgot your kisses.
But my heart went on, remembering your mouth — and I went on

and on through the streets like a man wounded, until I understood, Love: I had found my place, a land of kisses and volcanoes."

I think if you find a love like that even once – even if it is fleeting – then you can count yourself fortunate in love.

About Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick is a sex researcher at Indiana University, sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, columnist, and author of five books about sex and love. Learn more about her work at