Ode to the Hummingbird (Neruda)

You hover in the air,
suspend your splendour,
your iridescence
to fit into a tiny blossom.
You pirouette –
light within the light
air within the air
Oh tiny living lightning,
I ask you:
What is your substance?
From where do you originate?

Adapted from Pablo Neruda, Ode to the Hummingbird

Pablo Neruda (1904-1973) is regarded as the greatest Latin American poet of the 20th century, as well as a controversial political figure. Neruda’s vision and wide range of themes are extraordinary and his work continues to inspire new generations of writers. From his home town of Temuco in southern Chile, Neruda grew up close to nature. and in dozens of odes, he expressed his joy in the beauty of nature and simple things.

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