Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Neruda, a question


All leaves are this leaf,
all petals are this flower,
and abundance is a lie.
For all fruit is the same,
the trees are one, alone,
and the earth, a single flower.

             Pablo Neruda


When I read that I thought of how I sometimes look at one of my sons, and see him when he was two, climbing the concrete dolphin at the Cobble Hill Park and laughing, or at the Botanic Garden running beneath the cherry trees, or on the old green couch listening to me read Blueberries for Sal; and I see a million other specific moments--they are all within him--he is an adult now, but he is still that child, that moment, those moments. 

But I don't look at him and see all boys. What is Neruda telling us?

It could be seeing the world in a grain of sand, like Blake; but I don't think it's that either.

I can't explain what it means, but I can feel it, I can almost grasp it--it takes me somewhere beyond itself; the way music does, but which words rarely do.


23 comments:

  1. there is body, ego, and there is soul, energy.

    to me, neruda is talking about the interconnectedness of everything. we all come from One. we all are One.

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  2. to me it speaks about our constant need to label, to give names, to divide, to make order or sense of something in order to understand, to deal with our fear. but it's all one. no need to position ourselves in contrast to the world because we are part of it...

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    1. Interesting. I was thinking about how poetry often is about the specific: this particular flower/tree/rock, but I didn't make the leap to your interpretation, which, like Monica's, I like.

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  3. I can't believe it ... I have just written a post about Neruda, which I shall publish later! I love how Neruda always makes me think and question, and how he analysed the sometimes mundane and made it so special. M x

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    1. That is so cool--can't wait to read it. I had had a dream that I should remove this post, because nobody wants to read my ramblings about a poem. When I woke up I thought I'd done it.

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  4. I used t oread Neruda in my teenage years... Although I didn't always, of course, understand him I felt his words, as you're saying...

    A single leaf, a fruit, a moment, a person are special but also a part of a wholeness. It makes me think we need to act accordingly

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    1. I like the thought of parts of a whole. I just started reading him again and he is exactly right for where I am these days. So many things I read when I was young have new meanings now.

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    2. "So many things I read when I was young have new meanings now" is so true.

      How wonderful it would be and the world would be if we truly recognize we are one, though all are different but all are good.

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    3. It would be so wonderful--everything would be better.

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  5. What Monica said.

    Also, it makes me think about how most of us what to accumulate stuff, often it seems simply for the sake of accumulating, and how our attachments keep us egotistical.

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    1. And maybe how we just need one to make us see all? When my father died I thought I needed a zillion of his things to remember him by. But recently I thought, I just need one.

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  6. I can picture in what way you looked at your boy. My second son was just like your boy and my something was fulfilled with him. Now I'm too anxious about him for many reasons, and he is a reason why I like poems so much.

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    1. Oh Haricot, connecting why you like poems with your feelings about your son is very interesting to me.

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  8. Realizing I'm repeating some thoughts others have shared, but perhaps it's as simple as "we are all one", all connected...and separateness is our construct, our need to label & identify as Petra said above. WHY do we need the separateness, the labels, the need to see many flowers rather than seeing all in one? I think because we lack the imagination, the trust and the courage to absolutely embrace the responsibility, the changes that awareness would require.

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    1. I like that--it's a beautiful idea.

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  9. My immediate reaction is that he is saying that the earth's well being depends on how we treat individual entities; that damaging even a single plant or tree (or human) takes away from the well being of the whole. The words "abundance is a lie" makes this point, we can't afford to think that there are plenty of other resources even if we destroy something small.

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    1. I hadn't thought of it that way. I was wondering about that line, and I like your interpretation.

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  10. I've just noticed that you have a "follow me on Pinterest." It was you who introduced me to Pinterest and then to Etsy. I put some photos on Pinterest, but couldn't locate them later, and decided I was wasting time. But there are all of yours. That's nice.

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    1. Did you register and set up you own boards? Once you get the hang of it it's fun and easy.

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  11. I loved this thought provoking post for the reasons that it makes you stop and ask questions...
    Thank you for sharing with us.
    I found you through'vintage Jane's' lovely blog and I am soo glad I did.
    wishing you a lovely rest of week.
    love Maria x

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it, Maria. Thank you for visiting.

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