Neruda said the closest thing to poetry
is a loaf of bread
or a ceramic dish
or a piece of wood lovingly carved.
So he poured his words
into the glass of another language
only some of the world speaks.
He gave light to the mines of Coquimbo
Now they glitter like dew on silver fish.
He left the smell of fresh ink and crisp paper
at the broker's, who traded his wife's voice
for a rainbow of lightning.
He melted the snow on broad-sided mountains
to water the dust on Santiago's tongue.
He found the blue of Chile's sky
in the bellies of volcanoes, its silence
in a guitar in Spain.
Neruda's the rush of roots
after a sudden breath
the warm tear on a face in love
the sound of adolescence missing a beat.
— Maureen Doallas,
author of Neruda's Memoirs: Poems
All poems, art, and photos are public domain or used by permission of author or publisher.