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Ode To the Smell of Wood by Pablo Neruda (LJ poem)

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Forum topic by mafe posted 08-30-2010 11:14 PM 6259 views 1 time favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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mafe

11135 posts in 2549 days


08-30-2010 11:14 PM

Topic tags/keywords: poem

Ode to wood by Pablo Neruda
selected Odes by Jason Espada.

Oh, of all I know
and know well,
of all things,
wood
is my best friend.
I wear through the world
on my body, in my clothing,
the scent
of the sawmill,
the odor of red wood.
My heart, my senses,
were saturated
in my childhood
with the smell of trees
that fell in great forests
filled with future building.
I heard when they scourged
the gigantic
larch,
the forty-meter laurel.
The ax and the wedge
of the tiny woodsman begin to bite into
the haughty column;
man conquers and the
aromatic column falls,
the earth trembles, mute
thunder, a black sob
of roots, and then
a wave
of forest odors
flooded my senses.
It was in my childhood, on
distant, damp earth
in the forests of the south,
in fragrant green
archipelagoes;
I saw
roof beams born,
railroad ties
dense as iron,
slim and resonant boards.
The saw squealed,
singing
of its steely love,
the keen band whined,
the metallic lament
of the saw cutting
the loaf of the forest,
a mother in birth throes
giving birth in the midst
of the light,
of the woods,
ripping open the womb
of nature,
producing
castles of wood,
houses for man,
schools, coffins,
tables and ax handles.
Everything
in the forest
lies sleeping
beneath moist leaves,
then
a man
begins
driving in the wedge
and hefting the ax
to hack at the pure
solemnity of the tree,
and the tree
falls,
thunder and fragrance fall
so that from them will be born
structures, forms,
buildings,
from the hands of the man.
I know you, I love you,
I saw you born, wood.
That’s why
when I touch you
you respond
like a lover,
you show me
your eyes and your grain,
your knots, your blemishes,
your veins
like frozen rivers.
I know
the song
they sang
on the voice of the wind,
I hear
a stormy night,
the galloping
of a horse through deep woods,
I touch you and you open
like a faded rose
that revives for me alone,
offering
an aroma and fire
that had seemed dead.
Beneath
sordid paint
I divine your pores,
choked, you call to me
and I hear you,
I feel
the shuddering
of trees that shaded
and amazed my childhood,
I see
emerge from you
like a soaring wave
or dove
wings of books,
tomorrow s
paper
for man,
pure paper for the pure man
who will live tomorrow
and who today is being born
to the sound of a saw,
to a tearing
of light, sound, and blood.
In the sawmill
of time
dark forests fall,
dark
is born
man,
black leaves fall,
and thunder threatens,
death and life
speak at once
and like a violin rises
the song, the lament,
of the saw in the forest,
and so wood is born
and begins to travel the
world,
until becoming a silent builder
cut and pierced by steel,
until it suffers and protects,
building
the dwelling
where every day
man, wife, and life
will come together.

Here are two link for more of Pablo Neruda’s wonderful poems.
A selection of his poems press here.
Selected Odes of Pablo Neruda press here.

Hope it can bring some beautiful images for some fellow LJ’s,
MaFe

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.


9 replies so far

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 2575 days


#1 posted 08-30-2010 11:21 PM

thank´s Mads for posting
this a niice poem , I like it :-)

take care
Dennis

View patron's profile

patron

13535 posts in 2801 days


#2 posted 08-30-2010 11:38 PM

good poem
all we do and feel is here

what a barren world
without wood
to nurture us in living

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View 's profile

593 posts in 3432 days


#3 posted 08-31-2010 01:45 AM

In case any of you guys care for, here is the original:


Ay, de cuanto conozco
y reconozco
entre todas las cosas
es la madera
mi mejor amiga.
Yo llevo por el mundo
en mi cuerpo, en mi ropa,
aroma
de aserradero,
olor de tabla roja.
Mi pecho, mis sentidos
se impregnaron
en mi infancia
de árboles que caían
de grandes bosques llenos
de construcción futura.
Yo escuché cuando azotan
el gigantesco
alerce,
el laurel alto de cuarenta metros.

El hacha y la cintura
del hachero minúsculo
de pronto picotean
su columna arrogante,
el hombre vence y cae
la columna de aroma,
tiembla la tierra, un trueno
sordo, un sollozo negro
de raíces, y entonces
una ola
de olores forestales
inundó mis sentidos.
Fue en mi infancia, fue sobre
la húmeda tierra, lejos
en las selvas del Sur,
en los fragantes, verdes
archipiélagos,
conmigo
fueron naciendo vigas,
durmientes
espesos como el hierro,
tablas
delgadas y sonoras.
La sierra rechinaba
cantando
sus amores de acero,
aullaba el hilo agudo,
el lamento metálico
de la sierra cortando
el pan del bosque
como madre en el parto,
y daba a luz en medio
de la luz
y la selva
desgarrando la entraña
de la naturaleza,
pariendo
castillos de madera,
viviendas para el hombre,
escuelas, ataúdes,
mesas y mangos de hacha.
Todo
allí en el bosque
dormía bajo las hojas mojadas
cuando
un hombre
comienza
torciendo la cintura
y levantando el hacha
a picotear la pura
solemnidad del árbol
y éste
cae,
trueno y fragancia caen
para que nazca de ellos
la construcción, la forma,
el edificio,
de las manos del hombre.
Te conozco, te amo,
te vi nacer, madera.
Por eso
si te toco
me respondes
como un cuerpo querido,
me muestras
tus ojos y tus fibras,
tus nudos, tus lunares,
tus vetas
como inmóviles ríos.
Yo sé
lo que ellos
cantaron
con la voz del viento,
escucho
la noche respetuosa,
el galope
del caballo en la selva,
te toco y te abres
como una rosa seca
que sólo para mí resucitara
dándome
el aroma y el fuego
que parecían muertos.
Debajo
de la pintura sórdida
adivino tus poros,
ahogada me llamas
y te escucho,
siento
sacudirse
los árboles
que asombraron mi infancia,
veo
salir de ti,
como un vuelo de océano
y palomas,
las alas de los libros,
el papel de mañana
para el hombre,
el papel puro para el hombre puro
que existirá mañana
y que hoy está naciendo
con un ruido de sierra,
con un desgarramiento
de luz, sonido y sangre.
Es el aserradero
del tiempo,
cae
la selva oscura, oscuro
nace
el hombre,
caen las hojas negras
y nos oprime el trueno,
hablan al mismo tiempo
la muerte y la vida,
como un violín se eleva
el canto o el lamento
de la sierra en el bosque,
y así nace y comienza
a recorrer el mundo
la madera,
hasta ser constructora silenciosa
cortada y perforada por el hierro,
hasta sufrir y proteger
construyendo
la vivienda
en donde cada día
se encontrarán el hombre, la mujer
y la vida.

Pablo Neruda

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mafe

11135 posts in 2549 days


#4 posted 08-31-2010 02:02 AM

Thank you Dennis.
David, yes this was so clear to me when I read this.
And thank you . for the original text.
Best thoughts,
Mads

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Tony_S's profile

Tony_S

605 posts in 2543 days


#5 posted 08-31-2010 02:39 AM

“That’s why
when I touch you
you respond
like a lover”

About a year ago….I was in a small quaint furniture shop in the Mountains. They had a HUGE table with a 4” thick Walnut slab top, live edge…absolutely gorgeous. As I was running my hands up, down…under and over the top, the lady who owned the store walked up to me and said….”I’d be willing to bet that you build fine furniture.” Surprised, I asked her how she knew.
She told me she watched me for a few minutes…..and from the look of pure lust on my face, and the way I was caressing the walnut top….she wasn’t sure if she should approach me….or draw the curtains on the front window!! LOL!!
She said, such a deep appreciation for a slab of Walnut could only mean one thing….

Come to think of it…..maybe THAT”S why I’m twice divorced!!! LOL!!

-- It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. Aristotle

View docholladay's profile

docholladay

1287 posts in 2519 days


#6 posted 08-31-2010 09:39 AM

It drives my wife crazy. We will be out somewhere and a piece of furnitur will catch my eye or even hardwood fooring, but I will be drawn to a piece of wood and the grain and how some craftsman or, in some cases, pure chance put something very beautiful there for us all to see. Just tonight, I was waiting for a table to be ready at a restaurant and went to the bar for a drink while waiting. I could not help but notice the tight grained and amber color of the heart pine that the bar top had been made from. Call it lust, call it an addiction, but when you get hooked on this stuff, it gets into you deeply. Mads thanks for posting that poem. Very, very cool my friend.

-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

View Flemming's profile

Flemming

417 posts in 2357 days


#7 posted 08-31-2010 08:52 PM

words to live by :)
never forget what mother nature provides for us and that this is in fact what she wants to do. it’s when we get greedy she gets nasty.

love the poem mads, thanks for the inspiration again :)

-- Flemming. It's only a mistake if you can't fix it.

View Div's profile

Div

1653 posts in 2400 days


#8 posted 08-31-2010 09:03 PM

beautiful words, brother. Thank you!

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

View mafe's profile

mafe

11135 posts in 2549 days


#9 posted 09-01-2010 04:07 PM

Ohh yes, I know the feeling – to just have to touch a beautiful piece of wood, or just passing a old table leg in the street, and have to bring it home, since it’s so full of life.
Tony, I smille, the divorce are perhaps a reminder for us sometimes to adjust our focus, for me it has been a wonderful learning experince to be divorced, and I’m a better man today, so I have no regreds.
Best thoughts,
Mads

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

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