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‘Toward an Impure Poetry’ by Pablo Neruda

Pablo Neruda was a Chilean Nobel Laureate, famous for his surrealist and passionate love poems, along with historical epics and political manifestos. He was regarded as the “the greatest poet of the 20th century in any language” by another South American Nobel Laureate Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
There have been two schools of thought regarding what poetry should stand for and who it should be written for. While one school says poetry should be for the elites, or it should be “pure”, the other school, that Pablo Neruda believed in, felt poetry should be “impure” or depicting the blunt realities of life. This belief of his can be observed throughout his body of work, using metaphors and imageries that are drawn from every day things.
Here is the essay he wrote on why poetry should be impure.
It is good, at certain hours of the day and night, to look closely at the world of objects at rest. Wheels that have crossed long, dusty distances with their mineral and vegetable burdens, sacks from the coal bins, barrels, and baskets, handles and hafts for the carpenter’s tool chest. From them flow the contacts of man with the earth, like a text for all troubled lyricists. The used surfaces of things, the wear that the hands give to things, the air, tragic at times, pathetic at others, of such things—all lend a curious attractiveness to the reality of the world that should not be underprized.
In them one sees the confused impurity of the human condition, the massing of things, the use and disuse of substance, footprints and fingerprints, the abiding presence of the human engulfing all artifacts, inside and out.
Let that be the poetry we search for: worn with the hand’s obligations, as by acids, steeped in sweat and in smoke, smelling of the lilies and urine, spattered diversely by the trades that we live by, inside the law or beyond it.
A poetry impure as the clothing we wear, or our bodies, soup-stained, soiled with our shameful behavior, our wrinkles and vigils and dreams, observations and prophecies, declarations of loathing and love, idylls and beasts, the shocks of encounter, political loyalties, denials and doubts, affirmations and taxes.
The holy canons of madrigal, the mandates of touch, smell, taste, sight, hearing, the passion for justice, sexual desire, the sea sounding—willfully rejecting and accepting nothing: the deep penetraion of things in the transports of love, a consummate poetry soiled by the pigeon’s claw, ice-marked and tooh-marked, bitten delicately with our sweatdrops and usage, perhaps. Till the instrument so restlessly played yields us the comfort of its surfaces, and the woods show the knottiest suavities shaped by the pride of the tool. Blossom and water and wheat kernel share one precious consistency: the sumptuous appeal of the tactile.
Let no one forget them. Melancholy, old mawkishness impure and unflawed, fruits of a fabulous species lost to the memory, cast away in a frenzy’s abandonment—moonlight, the swan in the gathering darkness, all hackneyed endearments: surely that is the poet’s concern, essential and absolute.
Those who shun the “bad taste” of things will fall flat on the ice.

5 Rabindranath Tagore Poems that Make Him the Master of Our Hearts

Rabindranath Tagore was a poet-philosopher who inspired a whole generation through his writings. Rabindranath Tagore became a literary sensation and went on to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913.
To celebrate Tagore’s birthday, we bring here sections of five of his most beloved poems!

On the Hypocrisy of Faith
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On the Vulnerability at the Time of Death

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On the Soul of Countries and People
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On Missing a Dear One

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On Longing
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Do you, too, have a Rabindranath Tagore poem to share? What are your favourite lines of his? Tell us, we would love to know!

5 Reasons why Rabindranath Tagore was Ahead of His Time

More lovingly called Gurudev, Rabindranath Tagore is one of India’s most cherished renaissance figures. He is credited with putting India on the literary map when he received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913.
While best known as a poet, Rabindranath Tagore was also a gifted painter, a novelist, dramatist, essayist, an educator, and a philosopher. His works continue to help people dream of a better world, even in the darkest of times.
As we countdown to his birthday, here are 5 reasons that prove that this great man was way ahead of his time.
The time he returned his knighthood
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How many artists would’ve had the courage to do this?
His views on women
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Here’s someone born more than a hundred years ago whose views on women are, arguably, still ahead of the times.
His take on the dangers of nationalism
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A message that will never cease to be apt.
Gurudev and the society
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His works for social reform has been largely overshadowed by his literary achievements, but there are fewer voices bigger who tried to remove the evils from Indian society.
A deserving and Nobel man
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He was the first Asian to win the Nobel Prize.
Rabindranath Tagore’s life and his works are examples where excellence is enshrined, and yet, at their core are inspiringly human.
For more amazing facts of the remarkable Rabindranath Tagore, you’d want to pick Sabyasachi Bhattacharya’s Rabindranath Tagore: An Interpretation.

Seven Derek Walcott Quotes that will Etch Him in Your Memory Forever!

Born in Castries, the St Lucia capital, Sir Derek Walcott’s first poems, which were self-published, emerged in 1948. His work celebrated his Caribbean culture, enhanced by an encyclopedic knowledge and insight in world history, global cultures and triumphs of humanity.
As a youngster, he struggled with questions of race and his passion for British poetry, describing it as a “wrestling contradiction of being white in mind and black in body, as if the flesh were coal from which the spirit like tormented smoke writhed to escape.”
Sir Walcott won the Nobel Prize in 1992, two years after his epic book-length poem Omeros, which brought him worldwide acclaim, was published. His dazzling, painterly work earned him a reputation as one of the greatest writers of the second half of the 20th century.
Today, as we remember him, let us have a look at some of his quotes.
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RIP Sir Derek Walcott.

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