Thanks to the word

that gives thanks.

Thanks to the gratitude

for how excellently

the word melts snow or iron.


The planet seemed full of threats

until soft

as a translucent


or sweet as a sugary petal,

from lip to lip,

it passed,

thank you,

magnificent, filling the mouth,

or whispered,

hardly voiced,

and the soul became human again,

not a window,

soome clear shine

penetrated the forest:

it was possible again to sing beneath the leaves.

Gratitude, you are medicine


scorn’s bitter oxides,

light melting the cruel altar.



you are also

the carpet


the most distant men,

passengers spread out

through nature

and the jungle

of unknown men,


as the delirous train

penetrates a new country,

eradicating frontiers,


joined with the sharp-cusped

volcanoes, frost and fire,

thanks, yes, gracias, and the Earth

turns into a table,

a single word swept it clean,

plates and cups glisten,

forks jingle,

and the flatlands seem like tablecloths.


Thanks, gracias,

you travel and return,

you rise

and descend.

It is understood, you don’t

permeate everything,

but where the word of thanksgiving

appears like a tiny petal,

proud fists hide

and a penny’s worth of a smile appears.


— Ode to Gratitude by the great Pablo Neruda, found this morning in Neruda’s Garden: An Anthology of Odes: kismit!


Related posts: pablo neruda on the creative process
what happens if you start your day with a poem?
pablo neruda’s poetic houses (+ his ‘ode to the present’)
louis c.k on being broke (with su tung-p’o)
‘what’s not wrong?’ and other ways to start your day
slowing down and counting blessings
counting blessings as antidote


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