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Wednesday
Jul012015

Ode to the Lemon

  
For five years when he was in his late 40's and early 50's, Pablo Neruda wrote an ode every week mostly to everyday things: a broken glass, the Sun, clothes, an artichoke. His poems are expansive, and local, honed to strike directly the reader's heart. On the hottest July day ever recorded in Britain, I'll share his 'Ode to the Lemon' and after that, a detail of a new painting born two days ago, also dedicated to the lemon and from the 'Nature's Notes' series.
   
Ode To The Lemon
by Pablo Neruda
  
From blossoms
released
by the moonlight,
from an
aroma of exasperated
love,
steeped in fragrance,
yellowness
drifted from the lemon tree,
and from its plantarium
lemons descended to the earth.

Tender yield!
The coasts,
the markets glowed
with light, with
unrefined gold;
we opened
two halves
of a miracle,
congealed acid
trickled
from the hemispheres
of a star,
the most intense liqueur
of nature,
unique, vivid,
concentrated,
born of the cool, fresh
lemon,
of its fragrant house,
its acid, secret symmetry.

Knives
sliced a small
cathedral
in the lemon,
the concealed apse, opened,
revealed acid stained glass,
drops
oozed topaz,
altars,
cool architecture.

So, when you hold
the hemisphere
of a cut lemon
above your plate,
you spill
a universe of gold,
a
yellow goblet
of miracles,
a fragrant nipple
of the earth's breast,
a ray of light that was made fruit,
the minute fire of a planet.
  
  
Details from: 'Lemon', oil on canvas, 132 x 120 cm.