Pablo Neruda

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

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

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  • Colleen Courtney (6/7/2014 4:20:00 AM)

    An interesting write. Amazing imagery he uses to describe a lemon. Can almost see, smell and taste its acidic juiciness! (Report) Reply

  • 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. (Report) Reply

  • 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. (Report) Reply

  • 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? (Report) Reply

  • 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 (Report) Reply

  • Rohan R (7/27/2008 9:36:00 AM)

    Assosciation of a lemon with realities of life and earth.
    Great poet of all times (Report) Reply

  • john tiong chunghoo (7/1/2006 3:38:00 AM)

    love this:

    creation's
    original juices,
    irreducible, changeless,
    alive:

    may i add:

    creation's juices
    irisistible
    blinding us
    to the core (Report) Reply

  • Simon Zonenblick (2/27/2006 1:20:00 PM)

    His continual fascination with interiors suggests the search for roots and essences that characterize so much of Neruda's great work. Here, the imagery of cathedrals, for example, adds a weighty, religious significance, as well as overtones of design and purpose. The alternation of these Godly images with mention of topazes and crystals, as well as emphasizing the earthy significance of the fruit, not only provides us with beautiful poetry, but embodies the heart of this great poet's literary power and legacy. (Report) Reply

  • Indiana Pehlivanova (2/26/2006 10:26:00 AM)

    I like this poem because it really makes me think of a lemon. He is giving to a simple fruit so much imagery, so we can picture it different than ussual! He is a great poet, I like all of his poem (almost) (Report) Reply

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