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(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973 / Parral / Chile)

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A Lemon

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

Delicate merchandise!
The harbors are big with it-
bazaars
for the light and the
barbarous gold.
We open
the halves
of a miracle,
and a clotting of acids
brims
into the starry
divisions:
creation's
original juices,
irreducible, changeless,
alive:
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,
altars,
aromatic facades.

So, while the hand
holds the cut of the lemon,
half a world
on a trencher,
the gold of the universe
wells
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.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003


Read poems about / on: tree, house, fire, light, world, flower

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Comments about this poem (Canto XII from The Heights of Macchu Picchu by Pablo Neruda )

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  • Usha Ramani (3/7/2014 5:24:00 AM)

    acerbically worded poem, leaving a loving lemony sting! ! Amazing Neruda!

    1 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Alexander Opicho (12/3/2013 7:47:00 AM)

    neruda callss for love of truth, kudos

  • Samuel Augustus (11/9/2012 12:04:00 AM)

    Neruda painted with words, into the canvas of our minds. brilliant.

  • Allemagne Roßmann (9/29/2011 1:40:00 AM)

    mark of a masterpiece...superb

  • Elizabeth Thomson (9/19/2011 7:28:00 AM)

    He so beautifully describes lemons :)

  • Luke Johnson (12/15/2009 6:01:00 PM)

    Pablo Neruda is a sexualized version of William Williams. There is nothing difficult about his poetry. The beauty is in his ability to take the mundane and make it near super natural. I don't know how Pankaj does not understand this work. Neruda is easily a top twenty poet of all time.

  • Phillip Sawatzky (10/23/2009 2:05:00 AM)

    Most of the people here recognize brilliance and citrus essence, the others are locked into
    restricting their associations and sense of word play, and are definitely Constipated.

  • Pankaj Saksena (10/10/2009 3:46:00 PM)

    First, I don't much understand the poem. Second, why does Neruda have to put sexual references in every of his poetic work?

  • Sonny Faolan (8/14/2009 12:18:00 PM)

    pablo neruda was a great poet! but not really one of my favourites...

  • Pink Poozle (4/12/2009 3:42:00 AM)

    Its ok, your other poems like 'A dogs Dead' is better. Tremedously thoughtful! You could be a writer when your older! Your really good! I have gave you a 8. Its a pretty good poem! Even though I am a short term writer. I have had a book published before, with one of my poems wrote in it! You could do that! Thats how good I think you are! Its just this poem that I dont like very much, but your others are amazingly fantastic! Congratulations!
    P.S: The one a bout The Dog brought tears to my eyes!
    You are a wonderous writer!
    From
    Amy Gibbs

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