Monday, 8 September 2014

Neruda week: Morning

Morning, sonnet VIII (8)

If your eyes were not the color of the moon,
of a day full of clay, and work, and fire,
if even held-in you did not move in agile grace like the air,
if you were not an amber week,

not the yellow moment
when autumn climbs up through the vines;
if you were not that bread the fragrant moon
kneads, sprinkling its flour across the sky,

oh, my dearest, I could not love you so!
But when I hold you I hold everything that is – 
sand, time, the tree of the rain,

everything is alive so that I can be alive:
without moving I can see it all:
in your life I see everything that lives.


OK, in poetry punctuation marks are of vital importance to understand a poem. Let’s try:

sentence 1: If your eyes were not the color of the moon, of a day full of clay, and work, and fire, if even held-in you did not move in agile grace like the air, 
if you were not an amber week, not the yellow moment when autumn climbs up through the vines; if you were not that bread the fragrant moon kneads, sprinkling its flour across the sky,

oh, my dearest, I could not love you so!

sentence 2: But when I hold you I hold everything that is – sand, time, the tree of the rain, everything is alive so that I can be alive: without moving I can see it all: in your life I see everything that lives.

9 lines, two sentences. And I don’t know about you but when I read the first line out loud at the end I speak faster and faster, until the comma after sky, pause oh small pause my dearest small pause I could not love you so!

OK, the rapper summery: If you were not so wonderful, I could not love you so much, but when I hold you I feel great. (Language has lost some of it’s richness over the years. Neruda wrote this 54 years ago in the year I was born). 

OK, why is this poem so beautiful? If the fragrant moon would not kneads the bread, sprinkling its flour across the sky, I could not love you so much. The stars are the sprinkled spots of flour in the sky and the moon is one lump of kneaded bread. And yet is looks sweet and peaceful in the sky, and so do the stars. And if I could not see all that beauty, I could not see you. 

But when you are not a figment of my imagination, when I hold you; I land on earth, I see the sand, the rain and I feel alive. And through your eyes, because of the things you do, you tell, you complain, you admire, because of that I truly can see how beautiful life is.

And if you can write about the couloring of the leaves as: when autumn climbs up through the vines, ah, you have made my day!

2 comments:

  1. Yes, I think you have summarized it well, Han. A small fine poem.
    This will be a very intressant week.
    Give me just more ... LO L

    Take care,
    Mona Lisa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. More to come this week: It's Pablo Neruda week.
      Thank you for your comment,

      Han

      Delete

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