Monday, May 4, 2009

Pablo Neruda

This FlyHunnie loves poetry and first encountered Pablo Neruda in eighth grade.

I was sleeping over at a friend's house and her older brother had left his junior English book out, and being my nerdy self, I decided to read it when said friend fell asleep before me.
And what lay within? 
A whole BUNCH of great poetry.

The first poem I read was "Ode to My Socks," and I was struck. Anyone who could write like that
- about socks of all things -
had me on their team. I continued on in my search for Neruda and stumbled upon "Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair."
(Holy mackerel, did I hide that from my mother. 
An eighth grade girl's first encounter with passion and sensuality is a very memorable thing, let me tell you.)

I will also always be thankful to finding Robert Bly's translations of Neruda because they led me to Bly's own poetry, another staple of the Brigid poetry arsenal.

And the thing is, they are still as fully moving and heart-breaking and pit-in-my-stomach-inducing as they were in the days before I had even been kissed.

Being fourteen and fascinated with the idea of love, I devoured those songs and odes and sonnets
like I could never be satisfied.

I'm still not satisfied. I could eat those words for the rest of my life and not be finished until ink is running down my chin.

Universality. Pablo Neruda graffiti:

These are poems I can read forever and only hope to someday understand.
I wonder sometimes if it is possible for mere people like myself, no poet, to feel things so beautiful and so deep.

Hopefully someday, I can let you know.

1 comment:

  1. I remember wondering--what are the rules of the game that allow a poet to write about artichokes?

    After that, I try to go with the language as it moves. It's as if it's -thought-feeling-thought-language-feeling-thought-thought-feeling- etc.

    Then I have to look at how I've lived. Have I lived enough to take in this poem? With enough honesty? passion? guts to face down fearmongers? Sometimes I don't like what I learn about me.