Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A Child's Foot

A child's foot doesn't know it's a foot yet
And it wants to be a butterfly or an apple
But then the rocks and pieces of glass,
the streets, the stairways
and the roads of hard earth
keep teaching the foot that it can't fly,
that it can't be a round fruit on a branch.
Then the child's foot was defeated it fell
in battle,
it was a prisoner,
condemned to life in a shoe..........

I love babies feet. So soft, warm and chubby. I love to kiss them, nibble them, play with the little toes and nails. They always smell so clean and lovely. Adult feet - now that's an entirely different story, lets just say it's not my favourite part of the human body.

I also love this poem by Pablo Neruda. It's a translation from the Spanish and is from a compilation I'm reading called "Full woman, Fleshly Apple, Hot Moon". It's a fabulous book, it has the english and spanish versions side by side. I love to see how the poet works with rhymes and rhythms and line endings in his own language. I don't speak Spanish but I know some Portuguese so I can appreciate the original versions. In the above poem "To A Foot from It's Child" the foot is used as a metaphor for the crushing of a child's spirit through the challenges and restrictions that life places upon him.

Neruda writes wonderfully about the simple things in life. In particular he has written many odes to such simple things as a pair of socks, to laughter, to wine, to ironing, to an onion etc. If you want an introduction to Neruda or to read the rest of this poem I don't think you can go wrong with this book.

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