By now I hope you’ve come across The Trilogy of Remembrance page on Facebook.
It’s dedicated to literature, art and the examined life [in honour of Socrates who despised the unexamined life.]
AND also to The Drawing Lesson, The Fate of Pryde and Night Crossing which comprise The Trilogy of Remembrance.
On that Facebook page, we have a department called the Little Library where we can talk about whatever aspects of literature delight us. I hope you’ll join in. I’m going to suggest the first topic.
Do you care why a writer writes what she writes or why a painter paints what he paints?
I wondered about this when I happened to read a piece by the poet, Pablo Neruda, entitled The Hand Through the Fence. Immediately and without hesitation, I was charmed! Neruda was a Chilean Nobel Laureate and author of great poetry and literature. You can find out about his fascinating life which included serving in the diplomatic corps right here.
But let’s look at his childhood recollection.
As a small boy, Pablo peered through a hole in his backyard fence onto a wild, unkempt landscape. Suddenly he saw, through the hole in the fence, a small hand and then it was replaced by a “marvellous white sheep” Although its wool was faded and bedraggled, to him it was a most marvellous white sheep. Pablo went into his house and brought out a treasure of his own: a pine cone, opened, full of odor and resin. He brought it back to the fence and laid it there. He did not see the hand or the sheep again. Surely this is the beginning of a great poet.
I love this story partly because of the idea of an “offering”. This budding poet is moved to present a “gift”. Although offerings are frequently made to whatever gods you worship, here I think this child was making an offering “in kind.” But what was the significance of the sheep and the hand and the pine cone. One treasure for another, I suspect. Perhaps it was a treasure to thank whomever or whatever provided Pablo’s revelation which follows. Again the nature of a poet.
What did the young poet Pablo think? He wrote…”To feel the intimacy of brothers is a marvelous thing in life. To feel the love of people whom we love is a fire that feeds our life. But to feel the affection that comes from those whom we do not know, from those unknown to us, who are watching over our sleep and solitude, over our dangers and our weaknesses — that is something still greater and more beautiful because it widens out the boundaries of our being, and unites all living things.
That exchange brought home to me for the first time a precious idea: that all of humanity is somehow together…”
So–I guess my question is also this.
Knowing Neruda’s story, does it make you more eager to read something by this poet? Do you think this childhood story would enrich your appreciation of his poetry?
Who’s first to get the conversation going? You can leave your comments here or on The Trilogy of Remembrance Facebook page.
Mary E. Martin is the author of two trilogies: The Osgoode Trilogy, inspired by her many years of law practice; and The Trilogy of Remembrance, set in the glitter and shadows of the art world. Both Trilogies will elevate the reader from the rush and hectic world of today and spin them into realms of yet unimagined intrigue. Be inspired by the newly released and final installment of The Trilogy of Remembrance, Night Crossing. Presently, The Drawing Lesson is a Wattpad Featured novel which you can read in its entirety right here Wattpad.com