5 Mario Benedetti Poems To Show Your Feelings This Valentine's Day

5 Mario Benedetti Poems To Show Your Feelings This Valentine's Day

By: Oliver G. Alvar -

Mario Benedetti was one of Latin America’s most popular writers from the 20th century, and his poetry is particularly celebrated. So, it seems appropriate to show you 5 Benedetti poems to help you express yourself during Valentine’s Day.

Mario Orlando Hardy Hamlet Brenno Benedetti Farrugia (wow, that’s a mouthful!), otherwise known simply as Mario Benedetti (that’s much easier), was one of the most popular Latin American writers of the late 20th century. As a prolific novelist, essayist, journalist, and poet, Benedetti published over 80 books, was translated into more than 20 languages, and had an undeniable literary and cultural influence in the international scene. Still, for all his fame, he was never truly known in the English-speaking world. Let’s change that.

mario benedetti poems for valentines dayMario Benedetti. Photo by Elisa Cabot.

Benedetti was famous for his eclectic style, venturing into several genres and literary practices, from short stories to novels, poetry, essays, journalistic pieces, and even songwriting. His poems, in particular, are really popular across Latin America. Now, it’s hard to translate poetry, but hopefully, enough of Benedetti’s original spirit remains after translation to give you an idea about why he became so famous. And with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, now is the perfect opportunity to get poetic, right? So, here are 5 Mario Benedetti’s poems to help you show your feelings during this special time. We hope you enjoy!

mario benedetti poems for valentines day

I love you

Your hands are my caress
my daily reminders
I love you because your hands
work hard for justice

if I love you, it's because you are
my love my accomplice my all
and out in the street arm in arm
we are much more than two

Your eyes are my lucky charm
against the bad days
I love you for your look
that looks and seeds the future

Your mouth that’s yours and mine
Your mouth that’s never wrong
I love you because your mouth
knows how to yell like a rebel

If I love you it's because you are
my love my accomplice my all
and out in the street arm in arm
we are much more than two

And for your honest face
and your vagabond step
and your weeping for the world
because you’re one of the people, I love you

And because love is not a halo
or a naïve moral
and because we are a pair
and know we’re not alone

I love you in my paradise
by which I mean my country
where the people live happily
even without permission

If I love you it's because you are
my love my accomplice my all
and out in the street arm in arm
we are much more than two

mario benedetti poems for valentines day

Little Stones At My Window

Once in a while
joy throws little stones at my window
it wants to let me know that it's waiting for me
but today I'm calm
I'd almost say even-tempered
I'm going to keep anxiety locked up
and then lie flat on my back
which is an elegant and comfortable position
for receiving and believing news

who knows where I'll be next
or when my story will be taken into account
who knows what advice I still might come up with
and what easy way out I'll take not to follow it

don't worry, I won't gamble with an eviction
I won't tattoo remembering with forgetting
there are many things left to say and suppress
and many grapes left to fill our mouths

don't worry, I'm convinced
joy doesn't need to throw any more little stones
I'm coming
I'm coming. 

mario benedetti poems for valentines day

Hoping

I wait for you when the night becomes day,
sighs of hopes already lost.
I don’t believe that you will come, I know,
I know that you will not come.

I know that the distance wounds you,
I know that the nights are colder,
I know that you are not there anymore.
I believe I know everything about you.

I know that your day quickly becomes night:
I know that you dream of my love, but you don’t say it,
I know that I am an idiot for waiting for you,
because I know you will not come.

I wait for you when we watch the heavens at night:
you over there, me here, yearning for those days,
when a kiss marked goodbye,
perhaps for the rest of our lives.

It is sad to speak like this.
When my day becomes night,
and the Moon hides that radiant sun.

I feel alone, I know,
I never knew so much of nothing in my life,
I only know that I find myself so alone,
and I do not want to be there.

A thousand pardons for feeling like that,
my intention has never been to offend you.
I never dram of loving you,
nor of feeling like that.

My air ends like water in the desert.
My life is cut short because I don’t keep you within.
My hope of living is you,
and I am not there.

Why am I not there? You will ask,
why have I not taken that bus that will take me to you?
Because the world that I have here will not allow me to be there.
Because I torture myself every night thinking of you.

Why do I not simply forget about you?
Why do I not simply live like that?
Why not simply...

mario benedetti poems for valentines day

Armored heart

Because I have and don’t have you,
because I think about you,
because the night is young,
because the night passes and I speak of love,
because you have come to collect your photo,
and you are better than all your photos,
because you are beautiful from your toe to your soul
because you are good to me from your soul
because you hide in your soft pride
your small and soft
armored heart
because you are mine
because you are not mine
because I look at you and I die,
and worse than dying
is not looking at you, love,
not looking at you.
because you can always live where you want,
but your life is better where I love you,
because your mouth is blood
and you feel cold
I have to love you, love,
I have to love you
even though this wound hurts twice over
even though I search and do not find you
and even though
the night passes and maybe I have you
and maybe not.

mario benedetti poems for valentines day

Tactic and strategy

My tactic is
to look at you
to learn how you are
to love you as you are

My tactic is
to talk to you
and listen to you
and construct with words
an indestructible bridge

My tactic is
to remain in your memory
I don't know how
nor on what pretext
but to remain in you

My tactic is
to be honest
and to know that you are honest
and that we don't sell
each other fakes
so between the two of us
there’s neither a curtain
nor an abyss

My strategy is
by contrast
more profound and more
simple

My strategy is
that one fine day
I don't know how
nor on what pretext
you'll finally need me.

mario benedetti poems for valentines day

Originally from Uruguay, Benedetti lived in exile for over 12 years during Uruguay’s military dictatorship (1973-1985), jumping from nation to nation: first to Argentina, then to Peru, then to Cuba, and finally, to Spain. He returned to his family in Uruguay in 1983, when democracy was restored. Having lived a long, successful, and fulfilling life, Benedetti died there in 2009. He was 88. 

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