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Ode To a Chestnut on the Ground

Written by: Pablo Neruda | Biography
 | Quotes (7) |
 From bristly foliage
you fell
complete, polished wood, gleaming mahogany,
as perfect
as a violin newly
born of the treetops,
that falling
offers its sealed-in gifts,
the hidden sweetness
that grew in secret
amid birds and leaves,
a model of form,
kin to wood and flour,
an oval instrument
that holds within it
intact delight, an edible rose.
In the heights you abandoned the sea-urchin burr that parted its spines in the light of the chestnut tree; through that slit you glimpsed the world, birds bursting with syllables, starry dew below, the heads of boys and girls, grasses stirring restlessly, smoke rising, rising.
You made your decision, chestnut, and leaped to earth, burnished and ready, firm and smooth as the small breasts of the islands of America.
You fell, you struck the ground, but nothing happened, the grass still stirred, the old chestnut sighed with the mouths of a forest of trees, a red leaf of autumn fell, resolutely, the hours marched on across the earth.
Because you are only a seed, chestnut tree, autumn, earth, water, heights, silence prepared the germ, the floury density, the maternal eyelids that buried will again open toward the heights the simple majesty of foliage, the dark damp plan of new roots, the ancient but new dimensions of another chestnut tree in the earth.



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