Pablo Neruda: [after reading a poem] What do you think?
Mario Ruoppolo: It's weird.
Pablo Neruda: What do you mean, weird? You're a severe critic.
Mario Ruoppolo: No, not your poem. Weird... Weird... how I felt while you were saying it.
Pablo Neruda: How was that?
Mario Ruoppolo: I don't know. The words went back and forth.
Pablo Neruda: Like the sea then?
Mario Ruoppolo: Exactly. Like the sea.
Pablo Neruda: There, that's the rhythm.
Mario Ruoppolo: I felt seasick, in fact.
Pablo Neruda: Because...
Mario Ruoppolo: I can't explain it. I felt like...like a boat tossing around on those words.
Pablo Neruda: Like a boat tossing around on my words? Do you know what you've done, Mario?
Mario Ruoppolo: No, what?
Pablo Neruda: You've invented a metaphor. Yes, you have!
Mario Ruoppolo: Really? But it doesn't count because I didn't mean to.
Pablo Neruda: Meaning to is not important. Images arise spontaneously.
Donna Rosa: When a man starts to touch you with words, he's not far off with his hands.
Beatrice Russo: There's nothing wrong with words.
Donna Rosa: Words are the worst things ever. I'd prefer a drunkard at the bar touching your bum to someone who says, "Your smile flies like a butterfly!"
Beatrice Russo: It spreads like a butterfly!
Donna Rosa: Flies, spreads, it's the same thing! Just look at you! One stroke of his finger, and you're on your back.
Beatrice Russo: You're wrong. He's a decent person.
Donna Rosa: When it comes to bed, there's no difference between a poet, a priest or even a communist!
Mario Ruoppolo: My dear poet and comrade, you got me into this mess, you've got to get me out of it. You gave me books to read, you taught me to use my tongue for more than licking stamps. It's your fault if I'm in love.
Pablo Neruda: No, this has nothing to do with me. I gave you my books but I didn't authorize you to steal my poems. If you think you gave Beatrice the poem I wrote for Matilde--
Mario Ruoppolo: Poetry doesn't belong to those who write it, but those who need it.