Oda Para Planchar / Pablo Neruda

[Note: there are bonus-bonus points here if you can tell me why I would tell you such a thing.]

Oda Para Planchar
La poesía es blanca:
sale del agua envuleta en gotas,
se arruga, y se amontona,
hay que extender la piel de este planeta
hay que planchar el mar de su blancura
y van y van las manos,
se alisan las sagradas superfices
y asi se hacen las cosas:
las manos hacen cada dia el mundo,
se una el fuego al acero,
llegan el lino, el lienzo y el tocuyo
del combate de las lavanderias
y nace de le luz una paloma:
la castidad regresa de la espuma
—Pablo Neruda, from Plenos poderes

In Praise of Ironing
Poetry is pure white:
It emerges from water covered with drops,
is wrinkled, all in a heap
has to be spread out, the skin of this planet
has to be ironed out the sea’s whiteness
and the hands keep moving and moving,
the holy surfaces smoothed out
and that is how things are accomplished:
every day, hands are creating the world,
fire is married to steel,
and canvas, linen, and cotton come back
from the skirmishings of the laundries,
and out of light a dove is born:
pure innocence returns out of the spume.
—translated by Alastair Reid

Comments (3)

  1. Robert

    This is one of the poems read at the Austin poetry festival thingie that you really liked.

    Reply
    1. kimbol (Post author)

      You got me; this was “recycled.” 8)
      To be accurate, I didn’t hear it during AIPF. it’s more that AIPF got me thinking about it, so I added it here.
      Hope it was good the second time around!

      Reply
      1. Robert

        It’s a wonderful poem. Much like yours. Not easy to forget.

        Reply

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