Definition

One must make a distinction however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the result is not poetry, nor till the autocrats among us can be “literalists of the imagination”—above insolence and triviality and can present for inspection, imaginary gardens with real toads in them, shall we have it.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

A Toad's Favo(u)rite ~ When words touched me

Hello everyone ~     

As some of you know, I am very new to writing poetry (less than 3 years).  Growing up, I was more drawn to reading short stories & non-fiction books.  I probably read the entire collection of Nancy Drew and Agatha Christie's mystery books, then moved to Robert Ludlum's books and historical romance books in our school's library.   

I was however drawn to love poems and would pen romantic words now & then when I was inspired.  In the midst of managing a full family nest & work in the insurance field, I didn't think about poetry until I discovered that my second son was into writing contemporary street poetry and blogging about it. He encouraged me to explore the creative side of me and the rest is history.

One of my favorite writers and the inspiration for some of my love poems is Chilean poet Pablo Neruda (1904-1973). I am drawn to his words though I am aware that I have not yet read his best work as some of them are written in his native language.  (I now regret wasting 4 years of Spanish classes in my high school years.)   Among his many passionate words, I adore this translated poem entitled In You The Earth:    

Little
rose,
roselet,
at times,
tiny and naked,
it seems
as though you would fit
in one of my hands,
as though I’ll clasp you like this
and carry you to my mouth,
but
suddenly
my feet touch your feet and my mouth your lips:
you have grown,
your shoulders rise like two hills,
your breasts wander over my breast,
my arm scarcely manages to encircle the thin
new-moon line of your waist:
in love you loosened yourself like sea water:
I can scarcely measure the sky’s most spacious eyes
and I lean down to your mouth to kiss the earth.

Here is another beautiful reading by Ralph Fiennes - Ode to the Sea:


My all-time favorite though is this :       
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,
deciphering
that fire,
and I wrote the first faint line,
faint, without substance, pure
nonsense,
pure wisdom
of someone who knows nothing,
and suddenly I saw
the heavens
unfastened
and open,
planets,
palpitating plantations,
shadow perforated,
riddled
with arrows, fire and flowers,
the winding night, the universe.

And I, infinitesimal being,
drunk with the great starry
void,
likeness, image of
mystery,
felt myself a pure part
of the abyss,
I wheeled with the stars,
my heart broke loose on the wind. 
Whenever I read it, I always see something new in his words and his lines just lift me to a place I can't describe.   Thank you for reading this post and wishing you all Happy Tuesday. 

Grace (aka Heaven)

20 comments:

Kerry O'Connor said...

I absolutely adore Neruda, Grace. His approach to poetry is both intellectual and deeply emotive - and who can write love upon the page as he does? You made an excellent selection of his works - each is inspiring and fills the senses with wonder.

You and I have been in synch with our last few challenges. Watch this space on Sunday, when Neruda will be featured as the birthday poet.

HOOTIN ANNI said...

I love poetry and I love Ralph Fiennes.

Lolamouse said...

Beautiful poems, Grace! I think I'll explore more of his work today. Thanks!

Marcoantonio Arellano said...

Yes, I'm with Lolamouse in my newly found temporary direction toward Neruda.

These were beautiful selections, Grace.

Gracias for sharing

Also, Gracias Kerry for letting us know of Sundays feature

Mary said...

Grace, I really loved the Neruda poems you shared. I can also very MUCH see Neruda's influence in your poems, Grace. i also do think that I should read my Neruda poetry after reading your post! Hope you had a great Canada Day!

Susan said...

I've adored much of Neruda's writing for many years, but seen here in juxtaposition with your work I felt a cog fall into place: Neruda is to you as Whitman is (or has been) to me: a door opening, "the heavens unfastened and open." But no, that is the second step, the first is a way of seeing and talking about it. Glorious!

humbird said...

hi, Grace...poems by Pablo Neruda as well as Walt Whitman(his favs) I read in Russian translation, love it, and now after your post I eager to rediscover them in English...thanks

Heaven said...

Kerry, how exciting to have Neruda as our featured poet this weekend ~

Ladies, I am happy to read your responses to Neruda. The reading by Ralph Fienes is so beautiful, I recomment you listen to it.

Mary, we had a wonderful long weekend and now its back to work for me. Smiles ~

Sherry Blue Sky said...

What fabulous writing. Great choice, Grace. Thank you. The last poem is very uplifting to read. Wow.

California Girl said...

wonderful choices. happy Tuesday to you as well.

Marian said...

yay, Grace, this is terrific. what's so fascinating for me about this favourite poem series is the stories we are all sharing about our own youth or journey to writing. i had no idea, Grace, that your blogging street-poet son inspired you to write. that's awesome. thank you for sharing! xo

Kim Nelson said...

I, too, am a Neruda fan. His simplicity belies his complexity. Lovely.

Kay L. Davies said...

I love that second poem, Grace. I could feel the creative urge awakening in Neruda as I read it. Splendid words to describe the dawning of a splendid urge.
K

Susie Clevenger said...

I love Neruda, and I can see his influence in your writing. One never knows the path that will take us to our pen. What a pleasure it must be to know your son was the one who encouraged you to write.

Hannah said...

Perfect...love that reading...stammering sea and the seven green tongues, tigers etc. love this poem especially now on summer's breathe! Thank you, Heaven!

Ella said...

Beautiful! Thank you Grace I too am new to this world~ I love the way his words have a romantic geometry feel-all the angles he shares! I love his insight~ Thank you! :D

Heaven said...

Marian & Susie, my son continues to be my inspiration for all arts & things I want to do ~ He always says, Mom, do whatever you like, go where ever that makes you happy ~

Ladies, thank you for the lovely responses ~

Margaret said...

We both have a son that opened a door into poetry! I'm amazed by the beauty of the poet you have highlighted and I plan on reading more. Thank you. I do see his influence upon your writing, Grace!

Akila G said...

Wonderful!Thanks for sharing them Grace. I have a long list of pending things to do hopefully one day, some day, soon...:)

Loredana Donovan said...

Wonderful post, Grace. I adore Neruda and I have a collection of his love poems. His romanticism is enchanting. I can definitely see his influence on your writing. Also excited to hear it will be Kerry's featured poet this weekend. Thank you, Ladies! :)