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"Ode to Common Things" – Pablo Neruda

I found this poem by the famous Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda.

Oh, so so so so so beautiful…

I have a crazy, crazy love of things.
I like pliers, and scissors.
I love cups, rings,
and bowls –
not to speak, or course,
of hats.
I love all things,
not just the grandest,
also the infinitely small –
thimbles, spurs, plates,
and flower vases.

Oh yes,
the planet is sublime!
It’s full of pipes weaving
hand-held through tobacco smoke,
and keys and salt shakers –
everything, I mean,
that is made by the hand of man,
every little thing:

shapely shoes, and fabric,
and each new bloodless birth of gold,
eyeglasses, carpenter’s nails, brushes,
clocks, compasses, coins,
and the so-soft
softness of chairs.
Mankind has built oh so many
perfect things!
Built them of wool and of wood,
of glass and of rope:
remarkable tables,
ships, and stairways.
I love all things,
not because they are passionate
or sweet-smelling
but because,
I don’t know,
because this ocean is yours,
and mine;
these buttons and wheels
and little forgotten treasures,
fans upon whose feathers
love has scattered its blossoms
glasses, knives and scissors –
all bear the trace of someone’s fingers
on their handle or surface,
the trace of a distant hand lost
in the depths of forgetfulness.

I pause in houses,

streets and elevators touching things,
identifying objects that I secretly covet;
this one because it rings,
that one because it’s as soft
as the softness of a woman’s hip,
that one there for its deep-sea color,
and that one for its velvet feel.
O irrevocable river of things:
no one can say that I loved only fish,
or the plants of the jungle and the field,
that I loved only
those things that leap and climb, desire, and survive.
It’s not true:
many things conspired to tell me the whole story.
Not only did they touch me,
or my hand touched them:
they were so close that they were a part of my being,
they were so alive with me
that they lived half my life
and will die half my death.

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