Talking of Love

Talking of Love

This week’s poem in the Catholic Poetry Room is by St. Teresa of Avila, translated by Dana Delibovi.

[Translator’s Note: Saint Teresa of Ávila, best known as a writer of philosophy, theology, and
spiritual memoir, also wrote poetry evoking many of the themes in her prose. This poem, for
example, conveys the seclusion of the soul with God, a state achieved through prayer and described in her philosophical text, Interior Castle.]

Talking of Love

If the love you have for me,
my God, is like the love I have for you,
tell me: Where do I stop?
And you—where do you stop?

—Soul, what do you want from me?
—My God, only to see you.
—What are you most afraid of?
—What I fear most is losing you.

When a soul is secluded in God,
what does it have to desire?
Only to love, then love more,
and hidden in that love,
to turn and love again.

I beg you for a love that abides,
my God, so my soul might have you
to feather a sweet nest
in whatever place it suits you.

Coloquio amoroso

Si el amor que me tenéis,
Dios mío, es como el que os tengo,
Decidme: ¿en qué me detengo?
O Vos, ¿en qué os detenéis?

—Alma, ¿qué quieres de mí?
—Dios mío, no más que verte.
—Y ¿qué temes más de ti?
—Lo que más temo es perderte.

Un alma en Dios escondida
¿Qué tiene que desear,
Sino amar y más amar,
Y en amor toda escondida
Tornarte de nuevo a amar?

Un amor que ocupe os pido,
Dios mío, mi alma os tenga,
Para hacer un dulce nido
Adonde más la convenga.

Dana Delibovi is a poet, essayist, and translator. Her translations from the Spanish have appeared in Presence—A Journal of Catholic Poetry, Ezra Translations, Apple Valley Review, U.S. Catholic, and Witty Partition. Delibovi is a Pushcart Prize nominee and a “Best American Essays” notable essayist. Links to her work are available at

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