Pablo Neruda (July 12, 1904 – September 23, 1973) was the pen name and, later, legal name of the Chilean writer and politician, Neftalí Ricardo Reyes Basoalto. Neruda assumed his pen name as a teenager, partly because it was in vogue, partly to hide his poetry from his father, a rigid man who wanted his son to have a ‘practical’ occupation—to get a real job.

In 1971 Neruda won the Nobel Prize for Literature. Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez once called him ‘the greatest poet of the 20th century in any language.’ Without a doubt, Pablo Neruda is considered one of the greatest and most influential poets of the 20th century. His work has been translated into many languages.

Imagine if Pablo had listened to his father rather than to the strong, insistent voice of his inner knowing. Can you say the same? Are you doing what you came here to do? Or have you surrendered your calling to get a real job? The knowing inner voice continues to call whether you choose to listen or not. But true satisfaction in life comes when you listen to your knowing, to your conscience. The world will be richer for it; just as it is richer for the poetry of Pablo Neruda.

I came across this great poet while searching for a poem about olives for the interview I did on Wednesday on Voices from the North with Lynette Wilson of Hihi Olive Estate. Enjoy Ode to Olive Oil by Pablo Neruda. It has been translated from its original Spanish by Jodey Bateman.

Ode to Olive Oil / Oda al aceite
Near the murmuring
In the grain fields, of the waves
Of wind in the oat-stalks
The olive tree
With its silver-covered mass
Severe in its lines
In its twisted
Heart in the earth:
The graceful
Olives
Polished
By the hands
Which made
The dove
And the oceanic
Snail:
Green,
Inumerable,
Immaculate
Nipples
Of nature
And there
In
The dry
Olive Groves
Where
Alone
The blue sky with cicadas
And the hard earth
Exist
There
The prodigy
The perfect
Capsules
Of the olives
Filling
With their constellations, the foliage
Then later,
The bowls,
The miracle,
The olive oil.
I love
The homelands of olive oil
The olive groves
Of Chacabuco, in Chile
In the morning
Feathers of platinum
Forests of them
Against the wrinkled
Mountain ranges.
In Anacapri, up above,
Over the light of the Italian sea
Is the despair of olive trees
And on the map of Europe
Spain
A black basketfull of olives
Dusted off by orange blossoms
As if by a sea breeze
Olive oil,
The internal supreme
Condition for the cooking pot
Pedestal for game birds
Heavenly key to mayonaise
Smoothe and tasty
Over the lettuce
And supernatural in the hell
Of the king mackerals like archbishops
Our chorus
With
Intimate
Powerful smoothness
You sing:
You are the Spanish
Language
There are syllables of olive oil
There are words
Useful and rich-smelling
Like your fragrant material
It’s not only wine that sings
Olive oil sings too
It lives in us with its ripe light
And among the good things of the earth
I set apart
Olive oil,
Your ever-flowing peace, your green essence
Your heaped-up treasure which descends
In streams from the olive tree.

Pablo Neruda (1971) Translated by Jodey Bateman

Click Below to:

Subscribe to In Search of Simplicity by Email

 

Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and the recently released Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.com

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

Advertisements