Poem of the week – Ode To Bicycles

bicycle-159680_1280As Yorkshire is welcoming the first ever Tour De Yorkshire this weekend I thought it would be nice to have a bicycling poem on the blog this week. The race kicked off today in Bridlington and is finishing in Roundhay in Leeds on Sunday.

I found this poem on the Bicycling Life website. It is written by Pablo Neruda, a Chilean poet. Pablo was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971 and died in 1973. Interestingly he was portrayed as one of the principle characters in the film “Il Postino.”

Ode to Bicycles

I was walking
down
a sizzling road:
the sun popped like
a field of blazing maize,
the
earth
was hot,
an infinite circle
with an empty
blue sky overhead.

A few bicycles
passed
me by,
the only
insects
in
that dry
moment of summer,
silent,
swift,
translucent;
they
barely stirred
the air.

Workers and girls
were riding to their
factories,
giving
their eyes
to summer,
their heads to the sky,
sitting on the
hard
beetle backs
of the whirling
bicycles
that whirred
as they rode by
bridges, rosebushes, brambles
and midday.

I thought about evening when
the boys
wash up,
sing, eat, raise
a cup
of wine
in honor
of love
and life,
and waiting
at the door,
the bicycle,
stilled,
because
only moving
does it have a soul,
and fallen there
it isn’t
a translucent insect
humming
through summer
but
a cold
skeleton
that will return to
life
only
when it’s needed,
when it’s light,
that is,
with
the
resurrection
of each day.

Pablo Neruda

I will be enjoying the race ending on Sunday in Roundhay Park. Our mobile library will also be there so you can enjoy bikes and books – a perfect combination. It will be even better if the sun is shining!

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