Ode to the Book
When I close a book
I open life.
slide down sand-pits
Among the islands
throbs with fish,
touches the feet, the thighs,
the chalk ribs
of my country.
The whole of night
clings to its shores, by dawn
it wakes up singing
as if it had excited a guitar.
The ocean's surge is calling.
and Rodriguez calls,
and Jose Antonio--
I got a telegram
from the "Mine" Union
and the one I love
(whose name I won't let out)
expects me in Bucalemu.
No book has been able
to wrap me in paper,
to fill me up
with heavenly imprints
or was ever able
to bind my eyes,
I come out of books to people orchards
with the hoarse family of my song,
to work the burning metals
or to eat smoked beef
by mountain firesides.
I love adventurous
books of forest or snow,
depth or sky
the spider book
in which thought
has laid poisonous wires
to trap the juvenile
and circling fly.
Book, let me go.
I won't go clothed
I don't come out
of collected works,
have not eaten poems--
feed on rough weather,
and dig their food
out of earth and men.
I'm on my way
with dust in my shoes
free of mythology:
send books back to their shelves,
I'm going down into the streets.
I learned about life
from life itself,
love I learned in a single kiss
and could teach no one anything
except that I have lived
with something in common among men,
when fighting with them,
when saying all their say in my song.
Pablo Neruda's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (Ode to the Book by Pablo Neruda )
Did you read them?
- And We Came to Pass, Abdulrasaq Akingbo Okanlambe
- Praising a Poet, 'me' by a Co-Poet!, Dr.V.K. Kanniappan
- My Dog Lays at My Feet, David McLansky
- The two I trust (sonnet), Tinashe Mupedzapasi
- Owls or rats, Tinashe Mupedzapasi
- Jesus, God, Tinashe Mupedzapasi
- माँ का सूरज कहीं खो गया, Aftab Alam
- Brother John, Colin Ian Jeffery
- पयादे से मात, Aftab Alam
- My birthday song 2, Tinashe Mupedzapasi
Poem of the Day
- 04 Tongues Made Of Glass, Shaun Shane
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- 1914 V: The Soldier, Rupert Brooke
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- Invictus, William Ernest Henley
- Television, Roald Dahl
- Daffodils, William Wordsworth
- If, Rudyard Kipling
- Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
- All the World's a Stage, William Shakespeare
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(23 July 1823 - 26 November 1896)
Walter de la Mare
(1873 - 1958)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(13 September 1916 – 23 November 1990)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)