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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