Monday, June 28, 2010

Pablo Neruda: Book of Questions

Book of QuestionsI'm working on curriculum this week for my summer songwriting, fiction, and poetry workshops, so I've been thinking a lot about words and how we use them. The sounds of words, the definitions of words, the emotion of words. It's amazing that we can jumble letters together and convey so much.

I wrote a couple weeks back about The Dreamer, a middle-grade novel based on the life of Pablo Neruda, so here is an excerpt from Neruda's Book of Questions that plays with the concept of words and how we use them.

Do the o's of the locomotive
cast smoke, fire and steam?

In which language does rain fall
over tormented cities?

At dawn, which smooth syllables
does the ocean air repeat?

Is there a star more wide open
the the word poppy?

Are there two fangs sharper
than the syllables of jackal?

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