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The Goodly Tree

February 19, 2010

ODE TO A LEMON

Out of lemon flowers loosed on the moonlight,

love’s lashed and insatiable essences,

sodden with fragrance,

the lemon tree’s yellow emerges,

the lemons move down from the tree’s planetarium.

Delicate merchandise!

The harbors are big with it –

Bazaars for the light and the barbarous gold.

We open the halves of a miracle,

and a clotting of acids brims into the starry divisions:

creation’s original juices; irreducible, changeless, alive:

so the freshness lives on in a lemon,

in the sweet-smelling house of the rind,

the proportions, arcane and acerb.

Cutting the lemon the knife leaves a little cathedral:

alcoves unguessed by the eye that open acidulous glass to the light;

topazes riding the droplets,

altars, aromatic facades.

So, while the hand holds the cut of the lemon,

half a world on a trencher,

the gold of the universe wells to your touch:

a cup yellow with miracles,

a breast and a nipple perfuming the earth;

a flashing made fruitage,

the diminutive fire of a planet.

Pablo Neruda

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2 comments

  1. Dazzling imagery! I bow to the Master, Neruda.


  2. Glorious! The feel of the sounds in my mouth are delicious little pebbles. Lemons are so healing; I find it impossible to be sad when surrounded by citrus.



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