A Life-Kissed Tongue

Kim, over at the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, wishes to know if a long poem would be as effective if it were “reduced like a rich sauce”. She chose Pablo Neruda’s “Sweetness, always”, and invited us to use our own words to condense it into haiku, tanka or sonnet, while holding on to what we think is the essence of the poem. Here is my wee attempt in tanka form:

“A Life-Kissed Tongue”

a life-kissed tongue needs
no honeyed quill to speak true.
let’s plant words in dirt—
poesy that nourishes
the mind opens mouth and eye

– Linked to Poets United (Poetry Pantry, 338).


75 thoughts on “A Life-Kissed Tongue

  1. Hey Magaly! You were quick off the mark! I love your reduction of the Neruda poem into a rich jus. I especially like the phrase ‘a life-kissed tongue’ and yes, ‘poesy that nourishes
    the mind opens mouth and eye.’

  2. Oh, I too think this is perfect! I didn’t manage to get the digging in the dirt and growing food into mine, though I was aware of all the implications of that in the original. And to get all that in five lines … !

  3. Oh, there is such nurture in digging in the dirt….and nothing beats words. Combine the two and what a treat!! This is utterly delightful and life-giving, Magaly 🙂

  4. I can’t pay attention to your poem right now. You said “tongue,” so all I can picture is you sticking yours out at me, with that sexy-sinister grin. 😛

  5. Planting words in dirt gives me such a mind vision! Little pots planted, growing into stories just waiting to be trimmed, pruned, and harvested. Brilliant!

Leave a Comment