Friday, April 6, 2012

Lessons from Pablo Neruda

I am reading an amazing book right now called The Dreamer that is a fictionalized retelling of the childhood of Nobel-Prize-winning poet Pablo Neruda. (I'll post a review of the book on here when I'm done reading it!) For now, I wanted to share with you some quotes by Pablo Neruda and some quotes by author Pam Munoz Ryan about his writing and life that I found incredibly inspirational -- hope they inspire you, too!

Neruda wrote to the common person and about the common thing. He thought that when people touched an object, their fingers left a bit of presence upon it and that a bit of their being was somehow absorbed in the object's memory. He believed that all the stories he ever needed already existed and that their inspiration would be found in the simplest things and the most minute details: in the garden tool, the rolling pin, or the uneven table on which bread was kneaded. Neruda was fascinated by what he called "the permanent mark of humanity on the inside and the outside of all objects."

He said, "It is very appropriate ... to look deeply into objects at rest. ... They exude the touch of man and the earth as a lesson to the tormented poet. ... The flawed confusion of human beings shows in them ... the prints of feet and fingers. ... That is the kind of poetry we should be after, poetry worn away as if by acid, by the labor of hands, impregnated with sweat and smoke, smelling of lilies and urine, splashed by the variety of what we do."

Neruda even applied emotion to his pen, preferring to write in green ink, because he thought it was the color of esperanza -- hope.

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