Alexander Averin

Friday, 17 April 2009

If you love poetry

Achill Head - Paul Henry

Dear Diary,

Below is a piece taken from a blog I read, it is about a journalist's interview with an American poet. I hope she won’t mind me repeating it here but I thought others might like the last line.

This is the extract.

I can't tell you what we talked about; I need to save that for my story. But I will share his last quote, since it was so lovely. I said, Why poetry? Why not prose? And he answered immediately; he said,
Why dancing? Why not just walk around?


Then quite by chance I received this poem in an email tonight, also on the theme of poetry. So I thought I would share this with you also. Pablo Neruda is a favourite poet of mine.


And it was at that age... Poetry arrived in search of me.
I don't know, I don't know where
it came from,
from winter or a river.

I don't know how or when,

no, they were not voices,
they were not
words, nor silence,
but from a street I was summoned,
from the branches of night,
abruptly from the others, among violent fires or returning alone,
there I was without a face and it touched me.

I did not know what to say,
my mouth
had no way with names
my eyes were blind, and something started in my soul, fever or forgotten wings,
and I made my own way,
deciphering that fire
and I wrote the first faint line,
faint, without substance,
nonsense, pure wisdom of someone who knows nothing,
and suddenly I saw the heavens unfastened and open,
planets, palpitating plantations,
shadow perforated, riddled with arrows, fire and flowers,
the winding night, the universe.
And I, infinitesimal being, drunk with the great starry void,
likeness, image of
I felt myself a pure part of the abyss, I wheeled with the stars,
my heart broke free on the open sky.

Pablo Neruda

That's all for now,


ChrisH said...

Well chosen, Cait. And a very soothing read for me before I go to bed. Thank you.

Jude said...

Hmm, sent me into a dream world......... Thank you

laurie said...

wasn't that a delightful quote??? i'm happy you reprinted it. it's wisdom.

laurie said...

ps the poet i interviewed is a famous Neruda translator. so it's quite fascinating that you chose a Neruda poem.

ds said...

Love the quote--why not dance, indeed? And the poem is wonderful.
Thank you!

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Wonderful poem. I do love Neruda.

And what a delightful quote!!

willow said...

"Poetry arrived in search of me". I love that.

CAMILLA said...

What a beautiful Poem Cait, and I thought the quote from Poet was a delight.


Susan said...

Oh, perfect. Just wonderful. I have to copy that into my journal - the poem but also the other poet's terrific response about dancing instead of walking.

Lane said...

Pablo Neruda is a poet I go back to again and again. I love the one you've chosen here.

And yes, Laurie's interview was great wasn't it.

DJ Kirkby said...

I like the dancing analogy...nice.

elizabethm said...

Love the poem and love the quote too. perfect both.

Marcheline said...

My lovely Irish mother and I went on a trip together to Ireland a few years ago. Achill Island was our favorite place. I remember getting out of the car on a road that practically hung off of a cliff over the ocean. The rain was pouring down, and I stood and leaned my full weight into the wind, which held me up as I gazed down into the raging face of Neptune.