Neruda’s Sacramental Theology

I am a fan of poetry. Among my favorite poets is Pablo Neruda. His poetry speaks of love, of life, of the human condition and it speaks of it in earthy terms, incarnate terms, and living terms. As I was reading his “Ode to Wine” I was struck at how much this section spoke to me about the power of the Eucharist to “stir the spring.” I am always amazed at the power of poetry to stir the soul and call the reader to attentiveness. For me the reading of poetry is part of my spiritual practice, it truly is a means of grace.

At times
you feed on mortal
memories;
your wave carries us
from tomb to tomb,
stonecutter of icy sepulchers,
and we weep
transitory tears;
your
glorious
spring dress
is different,
blood rises through the shoots,
wind incites the day,
nothing is left
of your immutable soul.
Wine
stirs the spring, happiness
bursts through the earth like a plant,
walls crumble,
and rocky cliffs,
chasms close,
as song is born.

Pablo Neruda’s “Ode to Wine”

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