Never Underestimate the Loving: Poetry Friday

A little Neruda is in order, no?

"Ode to Walt Whitman" is too long to include in its entirety. And there aren't any versions online that I could find. You'll just have to savor what's here. . . translation by Greg Simon.

Ode to Walt Whitman

I can't recall my age, or if
I was in the vast streaming South,
or on some forbidding coastline
where seagulls wheeled & cried . . .
But I touched a hand that day,
& it was Walt Whitman's hand.
And barefoot I walk the earth,
I wade through tenacious dew
in the grasslands of Whitman.

Throughout my entire childhood,
my companion was that hand
with dew on it, the timber
of its patriarchal pine,
the expanse of its prairie,
its mission of articulate peace.

And Walt did not disdain
all the gifts of the earth,
the capital's surfeit of curves,
the purple initial of learning,
but taught me to be americano,
& raised my eyes to books,
toward the treasure that we find
inside a kernel of wheat.

. . .

Your voice, that's still singing
in the suburban stations, on
the unloading docks at night . . .
Your word, that's still splashing
like dark water . . .
And your people, black, white,
poor & simple, like all people
still not forgetting
the tolling of your bell . . .

They congregate & sing
beneath the magnitude
of your spacious life.
They walk among the people
with your love. They caress
the pure development
of fraternity on earth.

Lovely, yes?


Mary Lee said...

Hope you don't mind...I rounded you up and talked you up.

teach people not books said...

aww, shucks. thanks for being so thoughtful and for the kind words, mary lee :]

happy new year.

Mary Lee said...