Ode To The Book Poem by Pablo Neruda

Ode To The Book

Rating: 2.9


When I close a book
I open life.
I hear
faltering cries
among harbours.
Copper ignots
slide down sand-pits
to Tocopilla.
Night time.
Among the islands
our ocean
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.
The wind
calls me
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 typography,
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,
books of forest or snow,
depth or sky
but hate
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
in volumes,
I don't come out
of collected works,
my poems
have not eaten poems--
they devour
exciting happenings,
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.

COMMENTS OF THE POEM
John Tiong Chunghoo 04 July 2006

pablo, this is very good. i could really feel the action behind all your words. your thoughts and the keenness to live life to the full. books should not wrap you up. should should be freeing you and the mind. kindest regares, johd

10 6 Reply
bvvvvv 13 May 2019

I like turtles.I like turtles.I like turtles.I like turtles.I like turtles.I like turtles.I like turtles.I like turtles.

4 2 Reply
sharon 25 December 2018

Can anyone help me with the name of one of his poems (I'm pretty sure) that has a line like Hold it (them) as if your very life depended on them, then let them go... THANKS!

0 1 Reply
Captain Herbert Poetry 27 April 2014

Going beyond books Going into the world, to learn true wisdom

7 4 Reply
Brian Jani 27 April 2014

Awesome I like this poem, check mine out 

2 15 Reply
Alicia Aldrette 01 December 2012

You realize Neruda's been dead for 20 years, right?

17 5 Reply
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