Poem in My Pocket: Ode to the Lemon

I love the idea of a poem in my pocket.  As I searched for something to post for today’s feature, I found myself moving from poem to poem, nourishing places inside me long neglected amidst the practical rationality of my daily life.  I wonder how different my days might feel if I began each of them with a poem. I couldn’t possibly choose a single favorite, though I can identify many favorite poets. Among them is Pablo Neruda. I love the sensory immediacy of his language, the way his words embody the rich physicality of being. Although his love poems are those that move me most, here’s a delightful paean to what one might think of as an otherwise ordinary object:

Ode To The Lemon
by Pablo Neruda

From blossoms
by the moonlight,
from an
aroma of exasperated
steeped in fragrance,
drifted from the lemon tree,
and from its plantarium
lemons descended to the earth.

Tender yield!
The coasts,
the markets glowed
with light, with
unrefined gold;
we opened
two halves
of a miracle,
congealed acid
from the hemispheres
of a star,
the most intense liqueur
of nature,
unique, vivid,
born of the cool, fresh
of its fragrant house,
its acid, secret symmetry.

sliced a small
in the lemon,
the concealed apse, opened,
revealed acid stained glass,
oozed topaz,
cool architecture.

So, when you hold
the hemisphere
of a cut lemon
above your plate,
you spill
a universe of gold,
yellow goblet
of miracles,
a fragrant nipple
of the earth’s breast,
a ray of light that was made fruit,
the minute fire of a planet.

Categories: Arts/Literature, WordsDay

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