Sunday, January 29, 2017

"Of Verse, Poesy & Odes"

Of Verse, Poesy & Odes

Palm a poem as if fragile
even if the words are bold.

Let them sink into your skin
as if moonlight,

let them flow through your veins
until they become ordinary

for only then will we know
they nourished.

by Margaret Bednar, January 29, 2017

This is linked with "Imaginary Garden of Real Toads - Weekend Mini Challenge - Condense a Poem"  non other than Pablo Neruda's "Sweetness, always" in our own words, retaining the essence of what we think the poem is.   Below is Neruda's whole poem:

Sweetness, always
by Pablo Neruda

"Why such harsh machinery?
Why, to write down the stuff and people of everyday,
must poems be dressed up in gold,
or in old and fearful stone?

I want verses of felt or feather which scarcely weigh,
mild verses
with the intimacy of beds
where people have loved and dreamed.
I want poems stained
by hands and everydayness.

Verses of pastry which melt
into milk and sugar in the mouth,
air and water to drink,
the bites and kisses of love.
I long for eatable sonnets,
poems of honey and flour.

Vanity keeps prodding us
to lift ourselves skyward
or to make deep and useless
tunnels underground.
So we forget the joyous
love-needs of our bodies.
We forget about pastries.
We are not feeding the world.

In Madras a long time since,
I saw a sugary pyramid,
a tower of confectionery -
one level after another,
and in the construction, rubies,
and other blushing delights,
medieval and yellow.

Someone dirtied his hands
to cook up so much sweetness.

Brother poets from here
and there, from earth and sky,
from Medellin, from Veracruz,
Abyssinia, Antofagasta,
do you know the recipe for honeycombs?

Let's forget about all that stone.

Let your poetry fill up
the equinoctial pastry shop
our mouths long to devour -
all the children's mouths
and the poor adults' also.
Don't go on without seeing,
relishing, understanding
all these hearts of sugar.

Don't be afraid of sweetness.

With or without us,
sweetness will go on living
and is infinitely alive,
forever being revived,
for it's in a man's mouth,
whether he's eating or singing,
that sweetness has its place."


brudberg said...

Let the words become ordinary, love that sense. Poetry should savoured....

Kim Russell said...

I love the delicacy of your interpretation, Margaret, using quiet consonants that sound like whispers'Palm a poem as if fragile' and the gentle imagery of moonlight on skin. Yes, poetry is a form of osmosis and we are nourished by it.

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

A beautiful interpretation!

Gillena Cox said...

Oh yes, i like this a lot, especially
"Let them sink into your skin
as if moonlight,"

Happy Sunday

much love...

Martin Kloess said...

Wonderful and well composed response

Regine Karpel said...


Debi Swim said...

Simply beautiful.

Other Mary said...

Good poetry really is nourishing.

Susie Clevenger said...

This is beautiful. It left me with a delicate ache for moonlight.

Bekkie Sanchez said...

I want to be nourished too!