“Odes to Common Things.” Pablo Neruda’s poems came to me like a boomerang. It was a New Years’ back to basics, a reset to zero. A move away from global crises and cosmic clashes. I read them to draw a line again in the earth.
Ode to Conger Chowder. My Socks. A Laboratory Technician. Wood. The Book. Thread. A Watch in the Night. Seaweed. A Lizard.
I’d add: Ode to Vines in Winter. To Tea. Ode to Grown Kids. And Hazelnuts.
Poets frequently take inspiration from things – but often end at something quite different, because metaphor is so much fun. They might start with admiration, but end in rabid hatred of things, overtaken by ideology or spirituality or concerns about vanity. Grandiose ideas might sprout from the common object, eclipsing its own noble quality.
Look at us. At humans. We’re much better off when we’re not trying to be gods. We are ridiculously complex creatures with pretentions, desires and flaws. Just human. We should repeat it three times a day to remind ourselves to make room for each other, as humans.
Ode to a blade of grass.
Glass of wine.
Ode to a mailman with a flashlight.
Beautiful and thoughtful. And a great structure, like a beautiful coffee pot. Elegant, warm, mysterious, yet functional.