Saturday, May 8, 2010

Poetry by Pablo Neruda and To Pablo Neruda by Erica Jong Fast

Fresh Red Strawberries in Blue Dragon Bowl by Marion

By Pablo Neruda

And it was at that age ... Poetry arrived
in search of me. I don't know, I don't know where
it came from, from winter or a river.
I don't know how or when,
no they were not voices, they were not
words, nor silence,
but from a street I was summoned,
from the branches of night,
abruptly from the others,
among violent fires
or returning alone,
there I was without a face
and it touched me.

I did not know what to say, my mouth
had no way
with names,
my eyes were blind,
and something started in my soul,
fever or forgotten wings,
and I made my own way,
that fire,
and I wrote the first faint line,
faint, without substance, pure
pure wisdom
of someone who knows nothing,
and suddenly I saw
the heavens
and open,
palpitating plantations,
shadow perforated,
with arrows, fire and flowers,
the winding night, the universe.

And I, infinitesimal being,
drunk with the great starry
likeness, image of
felt myself a pure part
of the abyss,
I wheeled with the stars,
my heart broke loose on the wind.

~Pablo Neruda

It was Erica Jong Fast's poetry that led me to Pablo Neruda.  I share the poem here which led me to his amazing works:

To Pablo Neruda
By Erica Jong Fast

Again & again
I have read your books
without ever wishing to know you.

I suck the alphabet of blood.
I chew the iron filings of your words.
I kiss your images like moist mouths
while the black seeds of your syllables
fly, fly, fly
into my lungs.

Untranslated, untranslatable,
you are rooted inside me--
not you--but the you
of your poems:

the man of his word,
the lover who digs into the alien soil
of one North American woman
& plants a baby--
love-child of Whitman
crossed with the Spanish language,
embryo, sapling, half-breed
of my tongue.

I saw you once--
your flesh--
at Columbia.
My alma mater
& you the visiting soul.

you sat before a Buddha;
& the audience
craned its neck
to take you in.

Freak show--
visiting poet.
You sat clothed
in your thick
imperious flesh.

I wanted to comfort you
& not to stare.
Our words knew each other.
That was enough.

Now you are dead
of fascism & cancer--
your books scattered,
the oil cruet on the floor.

The sea surges through your house
at Isla Negra,
& the jackboots
walk on water.

Poet of cats & grapefruits,
of elephant saints;
poet of broken dishes
& Machu Picchu;
poet of panthers
& pantheresses;
poet of lemons,
poet of lemony light.

The flies swarm
thicker than print on a page,
& poetry blackens
like overripe bananas.
The fascists you hated,
the communists you loved,
obscure the light, the lemons
with their buzzing.

We were together
on the side of light.
We walked together
though we never met.

The eyes are not political,
nor the tastebuds,
& the flesh tastes salty always
like the sea;
& the sea
turns back the flies.



Fireblossom said...

Neruda is one who dazzles me all the time. I especially love his love poetry. This is particularly interesting to me because I am so partial to female writers, and yet Neruda is astounding to me.

The Jong poem reminds me of when I saw Maya Angelou when I was in college. Everyone was like, omg, you've got to see her, but she wasn't, and isn't, one of my favorites.

Kelly said...

Are those this year's strawberries? They look lucious!!

Enjoyed the poetry, too....especially the Neruda.

Happy Mother's Day, Marion!

Marion said...

Shay, yes, Neruda seemed to be able to look into the soul of a woman as few men can. His love poetry is without equal! Blessings!

Kelly, I've already made my first batch of strawberry jam this year from my strawberries! My strawberries are almost gone. The blueberries will be ready for me to make blueberry jam in a few weeks. Happy Mother's Day to you, too! Blessings!

Woman in a Window said...

"pure wisdom
of someone who knows nothing"
and so then, I feel wise.

the second poem is interesting. so strong on its own. i've not known one poet to speak so of another so intimatly and yet with detached reverence. it's an interesting one, Marion.

And dang blasted frick, yer strawberries!!!! blueberries soon!!! We got five cm of snow two days ago...

(Happy Mother's Day)

Terresa said...

Jong is a goddess of words. I love her nearly as much as Neruda. I'm a student of both of their works, with volumes yet to read, but each word they both write is like a match on my soul.


Wine and Words said...

and something started in my soul,
fever or forgotten wings...

This was breakfast...beautiful strawberries brought on the backs of dragons, images hovering above the bowl from faceless places. Yummy!

Love you!

WrightStuff said...

What a find! I've not heard of this poet before but now am on a journey to find out more. Thank you so much for sharing. I feel this way about art.

quid said...

How much we've loved this particular poem by Neruda. I consider it genius. Jong's take on the poem says she agrees...she's emulating. And everything is linked to strawberries. I enjoyed this post immensely.


Carmen said...

i love Pablo Neruda