For Valentine’s Day this year, I thought I would open up my book of Neruda’s poetry. Pablo Neruda was and is known around the world for his love poems, full of intimate infatuation, slow-burning and raw love, and aching despair, and I have been an admirer of his poems for six years now. I have a deep love for his poem “The Insect” and breaking down the beauty of his translated words is always such a treat.
Today, I flipped to a selection from 20 Love poems and a Song of Despair, 14.
Poem 14 — Pablo Neruda’s Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair | by Emanuele | Medium
Those words, I just imagine them, whispered under the stars. “Oh let me remember you as you were before you existed.” The speaker goes into both the lover as he interacts with her, as he holds her face and kisses he sweet lips, and how he imagines her. Neruda in much of his poetry connects the women he writes about to nature and the bounty of the earth. Women, in his eyes, are bountiful, overflowing, with natural aura. In this poem, his woman is succulent like fruit, plums, and wild like the flowers.
Much of the actions in Neruda’s poetry are carried out by natural forces, so characteristic of love, and yet these actions in love poems are so nuanced in their expression, “The rain takes off her clothes”…
Neruda also often writes of birds fleeing people, and I can’t help but think that these birds must be emotions, felt and expressed and released into the universe. You know in cartoons when the characters have little heart bubbles floating off of them. It also makes me think of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, with Hermione’s birds, which attack Ron after his insensitive dismissal of her in favor of Lavender Brown. As I was doing my current read-through of the series, I also noted that in the Goblet of Fire, Victor Krum, who had a happy little romance with Hermione, had birds fly out of his wand at the weighing of the wands with Ollivander. Birds are expressive. And imagining them flying free, our emotions flying free, is so characteristic of love.
But the last two lines of this poem could stand alone, “I want
To do with you what spring does with the cherry trees.”
Happy Valentine’s Day! Blessings and joy! August Lee
Welcome to book club 2023! This year I have selected 14 books (one for each month, an extra, and a partially read one I will finish) to review for you as I read through them. Feel free to read along if you’d like and leave all the comments you’d like whether you’re reading along or just reading my posts! Stay tuned for extras and fun! Blessings, August Lee
Sacred Actions by Dana O’Driscoll
How to be a Good Creature by ash Montgomery
Cord Magic by Brandy Williams
Finding the Mother Tree by Suzanne Simard
The Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan
Beauty by Natalie Carnes
World of Wonders by Aimee Nezuhkumatathil
The Wisdom of Birch, Oak, and Yew by Penny Billington
Sacred Agriculture: The Alchemy of Biodynamics by Dennis Klocek
American Georgics edited by Hagenstein, Gregg, and Donahue
Maddaddam by Margaret Atwoodd
Our Only World by Wendell Berry
The Mushroom at the End of the World by Anna Tsing
Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
- Feb 4 2023 Sacred Actions section 1
- Feb 6 2023 The Spinners Book of Yarn Designs, BC Extra