Ode to a Woman Gardening

I feel in love with this poem years ago alone in a book store in San Fransisco…It took me years to find it again, but as I was in the garden today it was running through my mind.  If you know a woman gardener, pass it on, I guarantee she will appreciate it.

Ode to Woman Gardening

Yes, I knew that your hands were

the sweet Dianthus, the silvery

Lily:

knew that you were allied

with the soil,

with the flowering of the earth,

but

when

I saw you digging, digging,

removing rocks

and coping with roots,

I knew at once,

my little farmer,

that

not only

your hands

but your heart

were of the earth,

that there

you were working

your wonders,

touching

moist

doors

where

seeds

come

and go.

So, from

one

newly planted

plant

to another,

your face

stained

with an earthy

kiss,

you went

back and firth

flowering,

and

from you hand

the stalk

of the Amaryllis

raised its solitary elegance,

the jasmine

adorned

the mist of your brow

with stars of aroma and dew.

Everything

grew from you,

penetrating

the earth,

immediately

becoming

green light,

foliage and strength.

you communicated your seeds

to the earth,

my beloved

auburn-haired gardener:

your hand

spoke lovingly

to the earth,

and bright budding

was instantaneous.

Love, so too

your hand

of water,

your heart of earth,

lent

fertility

and force tot my songs.

You touch

my chest

while I sleep

and trees bud

from my dream.

Awake, I open my eyes,

and you have planted

in me

astonished stars

that soar

with my song.

It is true, gardener:

our love

is earthly:

your mouth is the plant of light, corolla,

my heart toils among the roots.

-Paula Neruda-( From Selected Odes of Pablo Neruda Translated by Margaret Sayers Penden)

2 thoughts on “Ode to a Woman Gardening

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