Monday, August 14, 2006

Ode to a Beautiful Nude

With chaste heart,
and pure eyes,
I celebrate you, my beauty,

restraining my blood
that the line
surges and follows
your contour,

and you bed yourself in my verse,
as in woodland, or wave-spum
earth's perfume,
sea's music.

Nakedly beautiful,
whether it is your feet, arching

at a primal touch
of sound or breeze,
or your ears,
tiny spiral shells

from the splendour of America's oceans.
Your breasts also,
of equal fullness, overflowing
with the living light
and, yes,
your eyelids of silken corn

that disclose
or enclose

the deep twin landscapes of your eyes.

The line of your back
separating you
falls away into paler regions

then surges
to the smooth hemispheres
of an apple,
and goes splitting

your loveliness
into two pillars
of burnt gold, pure alabaster,

to be lost in the twin clusters of your feet,
from which, once more, lifts and takes fire
the double tree of your symmetry:
flower of fire, open circle of candles,
swollen fruit raised
over the meeting of earth and ocean.

Your body - from what substances

agate, quartz, ears of wheat,
did it flow, was it gathered,
rising like bread
in the warmth,

and signalling hills
valleys of a single petal, sweetnesses

of velvet depth,
until the pure, fine, form of woman
and rested there?

It is not so much light that falls
over the world
extended by your body
its suffocating snow,
as brightness, pouring itself out of you,

as if you were
burning inside.

Under your skin the moon is alive.

~ Pablo Neruda

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