Pablo Neruda

Odes to Common Things

“I have a crazy, crazy love of things.”

Pablo Neruda (1904 – 1973), Chilean poet and politician wrote poetry about simple things. He urged us to notice the inconsequential. Odes to Common Things includes Spanish and English odes to quotidian items like salt, a chair, table, socks, and soap.

Former U.S. Poet Laureate Mark Strand said: “Neruda was a genius but in whose writing beauty and banality are inextricably mixed. …Mundane items, modified by adjectives denoting the rare or celestial, are elevated to a realm of exceptional value.”

Others share this exceedingly important gift of elevating the commonplace to the celestial. Read Marianne Moore’s heroic efforts to notice and care and Oliver Sacks’ collection of adored things.