On Google images, we stumbled on this photo we took a decade ago at a friend’s house and published on Improvised Life. It brought back unexpected memories as well as the lovely idea of using a fruit for a stopper, which gives the carafe a kind of elemental beauty…still-life with lemon. It reminded us of Pablo Neruda’s Lemon Poem, which made it even better: lemon amplified and seen anew.

Out of lemon flowers
loosed
on the moonlight, love’s
lashed and insatiable
essences,
sodden with fragrance,
the lemon tree’s yellow
emerges,
the lemons
move down
from the tree’s planetarium

Delicate merchandise!
The harbors are big with it-
bazaars
for the light and the
barbarous gold.
We open
the halves
of a miracle,
and a clotting of acids
brims
into the starry
divisions:
creation’s
original juices,
irreducible, changeless,
alive:
so the freshness lives on
in a lemon,
in the sweet-smelling house of the rind,
the proportions, arcane and acerb.

Cutting the lemon
the knife
leaves a little cathedral:
alcoves unguessed by the eye
that open acidulous glass
to the light; topazes
riding the droplets,
altars,
aromatic facades.

So, while the hand
holds the cut of the lemon,
half a world
on a trencher,
the gold of the universe
wells
to your touch:
a cup yellow
with miracles,
a breast and a nipple
perfuming the earth;
a flashing made fruitage,
the diminutive fire of a planet.

2 replies on “Lemon Amplified and Seen Anew (Pablo Neruda)

  1. This poem,
    …and a bottle of tequila;
    could get a guy in a lot of trouble (?).

    Thanks for the photogragh Sally.
    It re-focuses, my logical mind. (?)

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