Love: Physical or Spiritual?

I’m in the state of dilemma whether to float with the emotional changes of the poet of the love poems, or to find fault in his attitude towards his wife. It is obvious for the readers to discover that Pablo Neruda in the poem, “Body of Woman” has equated love with his physical satisfaction. He gives every minute details of his wife’s physique. In contrast, he isn’t able to present his spiritual attachment to her. I wonder why the poet related his love to physical satisfaction. This is unlike to our Eastern belief that love directly alludes to sex. For us, love is the purest and selfless feeling aroused with respect, care, trust, and honesty. It is not necessarily important that the physical relationship must be maintained with the one we love. I find it ridiculous to equate love with sex.

In the poem “I like it when you’re quiet”, I felt like I’m given a harsh blow by my spouse. The poet has no worry when his wife ignores him. He is ok with the cold gap they have on their relationship. I think it’s the result of equating love with sex in his earlier stage of life. How can one live a life without any spiritual attachment? Is physical satisfaction enough to define love? No doubt, physical satisfaction is human necessity and inevitable truth. I think the poem would have been more pleasing for me if the poet had expressed his respect, care, and affection for his wife in some lines.

Reading these poems by Paulo Neruda, I remembered the poem “She was a Phantom of Delight” by William Wordsworth. Unlike Neruda, Wordsworth in his poem describes how he adores his wife in the same manner before marriage, after marriage, and at his old age. For Wordsworth, his wife is more than a spouse who warns, comforts, and commands him. She is always peaceful with angelic light. Without the details of physical love, Wordsworth has successfully shown his spiritual bond with his wife and the same passion for her throughout his life time. His relationship is inspiring for his readers.

Thus, I want your view, what you think about Neruda’s poems? Do you too equate love with physical gain? Or you believe in spiritual connection of two souls? What strikes your mind when the word LOVE jingles on your ear? Do you think it a happy ending with you and your spouse being indifferent to one another’s life?

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4 Responses to Love: Physical or Spiritual?

  1. shinyday14 says:

    Actually you are right. You said what I wanted to say. This is a long time that I am thinking about this poem and I can’t really convince myself that Pablo Neruda has described the true love. Our problem is that nowadays people are ridiculing the word Love. You can see how many poems are written to describe Love and how many beautiful sentences are being exchanged in everyday’s life to express our love. However, none of these poems, “I Love You”s and romantic movies can rescue lifes from the epidemic disease called, divorce. Here, we must think, is this real love? Can’t we love someone without considering his or her beautiful eyes, long neck, and soft voice and so on? Despite my unwillingness I must say, no. If you don’t believe, you can check how the number of people who are doing plastic surgeries.

  2. shinyday14 says:

    sorry I posted it without ending.
    you can check how the number of people who are doing plastic surgeries is increasing day by day.

  3. aditi27 says:

    Thank you Zahra for sharing the same view as me. Today’s world has equated love with physical appearance and physical satisfaction. No matter what people have in their heart, they seem to appear romantic failing to search the spritual connection to love.

  4. Yes, I support the views you have towards spiritual love as true love, but I too think that physical love is also a part of the true love. The physical love is not an unfamiliar thing that nobody should express; it is natural process and requirement of the body. It is better to express physical need of your body with your beloved one rather than unknown person . Simlarly, the poet had done with his beloved wife and he has not mention in the poem that he had any physical relationship with others. It shows that he was true towards his relationship with his wife and also, I don’t think it was poet alone’s desire to have sex. None can coerce anyone to have sex accept in rape cases. I totally support your views for the second poem in which the poet was seem to be indifferent towards the cold relationship between him and his wife. In all cases, men are not only responsible for the breaking of relationship. Maybe, his wife had some other problems with her life. No such specific thing is mentioned in the poem, so I think we can’t blame poet for the breaking of relationship.

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