Tuesday, May 5, 2015

May 5: Nature Essay, Pablo Neruda, "Ode to the Birth of a Fawn"

I have a couple of pressing writing projects this month.  For Sunday, I have to compose a poem for Mother's Day.  It's for a worship service at church.  I have started this poem several times without much success.  Tonight, I will try, yet again, to find my way again.

The other writing project I have this month is an essay about nature for a local writing contest.  I have entered this contest before and was awarded first honorable mention.  Last year, I was one of the contest's judges.  I sifted through some 25 or so essays for a month.  This year, I'm throwing my hat in the ring once more.  First prize is $250 and publication in a local newspaper.  Nothing to sneeze at.

So, I have to think about nature.  Maybe take some walks in the woods.  Climb a mountain.  Rake my lawn.  Whatever it takes.

Pablo Neruda knows how to write about nature.  The ode below proves that.

Now, Saint Marty has to go commune with the outdoors from the safety of his kitchen window.

Ode to the Birth of a Fawn

by:  Pablo Neruda

The doe lay on her side
the wire fence.
Her eyes were
two great almonds.
The great buck kept vigil
and in the sun of midday
the crown of his antlers
an altar aflame.

Blood and water,
a distended, pulsing
and in it
a new fawn,
helpless, shapeless.

There it lay in its opaque
upon the stained grass.
The doe licked it
with her silver tongue.
It couldn't move,
but gradually
from the undefined and
steaming mass,
fouled, wet, defenseless,
the form
the finely pointed nose
of regal
oval eyes unrivaled
on the earth,
the forest's natural
The doe licked it
tirelessly, cleaned it
of its darkness, and pure
delivered it to life.

And so it rose,
fragile but flawless,
and began to move,
to walk, to be,
to look for brooks in the forest.
It gazed upon a radiant world.

The sky above
the tiny head
was a translucent
grape as the fawn
attached itself to the doe's teat,
quivering as if shaken
by light from heaven.

I have to become one with my inner Neruda

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