The Neruda: Ode To The Chair

OdeToTheChair.jpg
OdeToTheChair.jpg

The Neruda: Ode To The Chair

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Ode to the Chair by Pablo Neruda

One chair, alone in the jungle. In the vines’ tight grip
a sacred tree groans.
Other vines spiral skyward, bloodspattered creatures
howl deep within the shadows,
giant leaves drop from the green sky.
A snake shakes
the dry rattles on its tail,
a bird flashes through the foliage
like an arrow aimed at a flag
while the branches shoulder their violins. Squatting on their flowers,
insects
pray without stirring.
Our feet sink
in
the black weeds
of the jungle sea,
in clouds fallen from the forest canopy, and all I ask
for the foreigner,
for the despairing scout,
is a seat
in the sitting-tree,
a throne
of unkempt velvet,
the plush of an overstuffed chair torn up by the snaking vines - for the man who goes on foot,
a chair
that embraces everything,
the sound
ground and
supreme
dignity
of repose!
Get behind me, thirsty tigers
and swarms of bloodsucking flies – behind me, black morass
of ghostly fronds,
greasy waters,
leaves the color of rust,
deathless snakes.
Bring me a chair
in the midst of
thunder,
a chair for me
and for everyone
not only
to relieve
an exhausted body but
for
every purpose
and for every person,
for squandered strength
and for meditation.
War is as vast as the shadowy jungle. A single chair
is
the first sign
of peace.