Friday, February 27, 2015

Poetry Friday: A Lemon

My daughter made me a lemon cake for my birthday this week, so in honor of that perfect cake, I present Pablo Neruda on the lemon.

 "Still Life with Lemons on a Plate," Van Gogh, source

A Lemon
Pablo Neruda

Out of lemon flowers
on the moonlight, love's
lashed and insatiable
sodden with fragrance,
the lemon tree's yellow
the lemons
move down
from the tree's planetarium

Delicate merchandise!
The harbors are big with it-
for the light and the
barbarous gold.
We open
the halves
of a miracle,
and a clotting of acids
into the starry
original juices,
irreducible, changeless,
so the freshness lives on
in a lemon,
in the sweet-smelling house of the rind,
the proportions, arcane and acerb.

Cutting the lemon
the knife
leaves a little cathedral:
alcoves unguessed by the eye
that open acidulous glass
to the light; topazes
riding the droplets,
aromatic facades.

So, while the hand
holds the cut of the lemon,
half a world
on a trencher,
the gold of the universe
to your touch:
a cup yellow
with miracles,
a breast and a nipple
perfuming the earth;
a flashing made fruitage,
the diminutive fire of a planet.


jama said...

Thanks, just what I needed. A beautiful poem. Love "a cup yellow with miracles."

Myra Garces Bacsal said...

I have no idea how Pablo Neruda manages to transform the mundane into magical. He indeed a word weaver.

Heidi Mordhorst said...

Hi, Ruth--

Good heavens, what a show-stopping yellow cathedral of a poem. Given my "Squeeze" thing I should have known this poem long ago. Is it your birthday too?! I wish you could join me and Tabatha and Laura Shovan for our now annual poets' birthday lunch tomorrow!

Tabatha said...

Happy Birthday!
into the starry
original juices,"
riding the droplets," --
he was really a breathtaking poet!

Tara Smith said...

That entire first stanza is divine, isn't it - so rich in sensuous imagery. Love Neruda!

Jessica Stock said...

I love this poem! And Happy Birthday!

Irene Latham said...

Yay for another February-born PF Friend! (Mine is the 26th, when is yours?) Love the lemon's cathedral. And the fact that your daughter made you a cake! How precious. Thank you, Ruth! xo