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Pablo Neruda’s Ode to Emeralds - The Emerald Company™

 

In 1971 Pablo Neruda won the Nobel Prize for poetry. He also visited Colombia that same year where he wrote this untitled poem in praise of the magnificent emeralds he encountered. We wanted to share one of our favorite poems about emeralds with you.  

 

When everything was high,
high,
there waited the cold emerald,
the emerald gaze:
it was a vigilant eye
at heaven’s center,
center of the void:
the emerald that looked on:
unique, hard, immensely green,
as if it were an ocean-eye,
an immobile water-eye,
drop of God,
cold victory,
tower of greenness.
Neruda, Pablo.  Heaven Stones .(Maria Jacketti, trans.) Merric, New York: Cross Cultural Communications, 1993

 Neruda also described a visit to the emerald mining region: 

What happened to me in Colombia, a country well known for its exquisite emeralds, is hard to say.  It came about that there they looked for one for me, they found and cut it and the fingers of all the poets lifted it up to offer me, and at the very height of the hands of all the gathered poets, my heavenly stone ascended, slipping up into the air during a storm that shook us with fear.  Now in that country the butterflies, especially the ones from the province of Muzo, shine with indescribable brilliance, and on this occasion, after the emerald's ascension and the end of the storm, the space filled with shimmering blue butterflies, eclipsing the sun and wrapping the huge branches of leaves, as though suddenly in the midst of us, the astonished poets, there had sprouted and enormous blue tree.  This event took place in Colombia, in the province of Charaquirá.  I never recovered the emerald.

       

Neruda, Pablo.  Heaven Stones (Maria Jacketti, trans.) Merric, New York: Cross Cultural Communications, 1993