"Odes to Common Things" (the bilingual edition) by Pablo Neruda

This is the type of book you want in hardback. This is a poetry book for those who love the mundane.

This is "Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens ..." in Spanish (and in English on the opposing pages for those of us who only wish we could read Neruda in his native tongue.)

Each poem has a pencil line drawing by Ferris Cook. He adds a second drawing for the translations done by Ken Krabbenhoft, which, like the languages are slightly different but related.

A salt shaker drawn on poster board is glued carefully on the cover. The book itself, the THING, is a work of art. The gold and green cover opens to a rich green face sheet. A water glass, filled with spoons sets the pace for the illustrations to follow. A simple drain plug ends the drawings.

The first poem, Ode to things, begins:

I have a crazy, 
crazy love of things.
I like pliers, 
and scissors.

Neruda lists in the opening poem the multitudes of “things” he loves; thimbles, spurs, plates, and flower vases plus so many more. He goes on in the book to write his odes to individual objects; table, chair, bed, guitar, a violin in California, a pair of socks, the dictionary, a box of tea, the artichoke, the tomato, French fries ALL get some loving.

I love 
all things, 
not just 
the grandest, 

I mean,
that is made
by the hand of man, every little thing:

all bear 
the trace of someone's fingers
on their handle or surface,
the trace of a distant hand

no one can say 
that I loved
or the plants of the jungle and the field.
that I love 
those things that leap and climb, desire, and survive.
It's not true:
many things conspired 
to tell me the whole story.

Words transcribed by me from the book itself

http://galleryoffunctionalart.com/matthewsphotos.shtml (some amazing art inspired by this book)

http://www.hostpublications.com/fiftyod2.htm (Spanish and Englist translation of Odes About Everything!

CST approved

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