Hello everyone! We have guest blogger for today’s Poetics, Rosemarie Gonzales from A Reading Writer.
“you see the grain-fields down yonder? I do not eat bread. Wheat is of no use to me. The wheat fields have nothing to say to me. And that is sad. But you have hair that is the color of gold. Think how wonderful that will be when you have tamed me! The grain, which is also golden, will bring me back the thought of you. And I shall love to listen to the wind in the wheat…”
― Saint-Exupery Antoine, The Little Prince
Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. How long will this chaos be? Hey there, fellow poets! I just realised I have been living alone in my cream-box-of-a-home for more than four months now. While it would have been amazing to walk inside some mossy forests or amidst golden or green fields, I am stuck at the heart of an Asian city. Alone, trying not to be lonely, thanks for the help of books keeping me company.
This time allowed me to read more poems from the lingering voices of the past and the emerging stanzas of the present. One of which that I grew very fond of is Pablo Neruda and his genius and rich use of the word “wheat”.
I am from a tropical country and wheat is all but scarce (we do have lots of rice, though). Through Neruda’s poems, I have come to understand how a humble word can wear a new colour in the hands of a creative mind like him.
Here’s one which was used as a comparative symbol:
Sonnet XXVII: Naked You Are As Simple as one of your Hands
Naked, you are simple as one of your hands,
Smooth, earthy, small, transparent, round:
You have moonlines, applepathways:
Naked, you are slender as a naked grain of wheat.
Naked, you are blue as the night in Cuba;
You have vines and stars in your hair;
Naked, you are spacious and yellow
As summer in a golden church.
Naked, you are tiny as one of your nails,
Curved, subtle, rosy, till the day is born
And you withdraw to the underground world,
as if down a long tunnel of clothing and of chores:
Your clear light dims, gets dressed, drops its leaves,
And becomes a naked hand again.
…another was personified:
Ah vastness of pines, murmur of waves breaking,
slow play of lights, solitary bell,
twilight falling in your eyes, toy doll,
earth-shell, in whom the earth sings!
In you the rivers sing and my soul flees in them
as you desire, and you send it where you will.
Aim my road on your bow of hope
and in a frenzy I will flee my flock of arrows.
On all sides I see your waist of fog,
and your silence hunts down my afflicted hours;
my kisses anchor, and my moist desire nests
in your arms of transparent stone.
Ah your mysterious voice that love tolls and darkens
in the resonant and dying evening!
Thus in the deep hours I have seen, over the fields,
the ears of wheat tolling in the mouth of the wind.
…and of course Neruda will not be complete without his signature romance:
When I Die I Want Your Hands On My Eyes
When I die I want your hands on my eyes:
I want the light and the wheat of your beloved hands
to pass their freshness over me one more time
to feel the smoothness that changed my destiny.
I want you to live while I wait for you, asleep,
I want for your ears to go on hearing the wind,
for you to smell the sea that we loved together
and for you to go on walking the sand where we walked.
I want for what I love to go on living
and as for you I loved you and sang you above everything,
for that, go on flowering, flowery one,
so that you reach all that my love orders for you,
so that my shadow passes through your hair,
so that they know by this the reason for my song.
Still waiting for the muse to whip some wheat on your pen? Wheat also holds significant meanings. For instance, wheat is a symbol of love and charity in the Bible, while in Greek mythology, it signifies abundance, life, and fertility and it is also the emblem of Demeter, the goddess of agriculture.
In terms of etymology:
Old English hwæte “wheat,” from Proto-Germanic *hwaitjaz (source also of Old Saxon hweti, Old Norse hveiti, Norwegian kveite, Old Frisian hwete, Middle Dutch, Dutch weit, Old High German weizzi, German Weizen, Gothic hvaiteis “wheat”), literally “that which is white”.
So today, I, Rosemarie (Rose or Rosey) of A Reading Writer, invite you to write on wheat with me. (Sorry, I cannot get enough of alliteration!). Feel free to use wheat, wheatish (of the pale golden colour of ripe wheat), wheat-harvest or wheat-ever twist you want to create! You can also borrow some lines from Neruda and paint it with your own colour.
To sum it up, here’s how to join today prompt:
- Write a poem about or with “wheat” and its possible variations.
- There you will find links to other poets, and more will join during the next few days so check back to read other entries.
- Read and comment on other poet’s work, we all go here to have our poems read.
- Please link back to dVerse from your site/blog.
- Comment and participate in our discussion below, if you like.
- Have fun.
About the author
R. C. Gonzales is the writer behind the blog A Reading Writer and the author of two poetry collections. She is a proud Filipina writing at work and during her free time, too. You can read more of her poems on WordPress, Instagram, and Facebook.
Hello everyone! I hope you are having a good day or night and keeping yourself safe and well.
Welcome Rosemarie. So very nice to have you tending the pub tonight. I loved reading the poems you’ve posted here. Just a wonderful prompt!
And hello to all the dVerse folks today. Here in the US, we are in the midst of political conventions and LOTS of political ads showing up on tv etc. It gets rather blustery!
And its very hot outside today as well!
Looking forward to reading your posts.
A lot of things happening the political and social injustices side too. Anyway, this is our own retreat and haven for writing. It is still hot outside but the autumn season coolness is coming at night and early morning. See you in the poetry trail.
Oh my yes….I’ve always thought of dVerse as my place of serenity!
Hi, Lillian! Honored to be guest hosting a dVerse prompt! I am glad you like the waiting on wheat and the poems of Pablo Neruda.
I have read news and watched videos of the political conventions there and know that I am praying for your country. 🙂
Will drop by soonest to read your poem for this. 🙂
Hello Rosemarie, Grace, and All. Enjoying the coolness after a morning downpour that I’m sure will be good for the wheat crops. Interesting prompt with good example poems. A tall glass of lemonade sounds just right please!
How nice to have that bit of coolness. Lots of possibilities to write about wheat inspired poems. Here’s to a glass of lemonade!
Hi, Jade! Lemonade it is, with or honey or without?
Glad that you like Neruda’s poems. Looking forward to reading your harvest poem for this prompt. 🙂
A little honey might be good, thank you. Cheers!
cheers, Ms. Jade!
Hello everyone and a warm welcome to Rosemarie! I’m afraid I won’t be around for long as we have a storm with very high winds and our little Mojo, who is poorly and has to go to the vet tomorrow, is missing. We may lose power too. I hope to be back early in the morning to read and comment.
Goodness, I hope you find Mojo quick with that storm. Stay safe and see you Kim!
Thank you, Grace. It’s really ramping out, quite scary.
Oh, dear. I hope you’ve found Mojo and you are all safe there, Kim!
Thank you. Mojo returned before I went to bed, but the storm raged all night and the wind is crazy this morning. I’m taking her to the vet later and have my fingers crossed that none of the roads are blocked.
oh dear. i hope all is well now, Kim!
Thank you. Mojo’s paw is on the mend. It’s still windy, not quite so strong, and very rainy. I have a feeling the sun will start shining again when the children are all back at school!
oh i hope Mojo will recover quickly. and it is nice to miss some sun from time to time. stay safe, Kim.
Björn Rudberg (brudberg) said:
Hello Grace and Rose… I just came back from town and a rare visit to a restaurant… I will just go back and do some writing now.
My relation to wheat has changed during the pandemic when I have dug my finger into baking it might shine through.
Yes baking should do it. I have not yet been back inside a restaurant; just take out order for now.
Ah! I remember reading about the baking that has started in your previous poem.
How was the restaurant visit? Does it feel weird?
Looking forward to your poem!
Björn Rudberg (brudberg) said:
Restaurants here feels safe.. only half of the tables are occupied and you have to be served at the table.
oh. that’s great!
Hi Rosema your topic and the Asian connection inspired this one, thanks heaps!
Thanks for joining us!
You are so right, dear Kate! Thank you and looking forward!
Hi Grace, Rose (RW), this is a tough one perhaps, but I will fo my best to ‘harvest’ something poetic. Welcome Rose… 🙂
Looking forward to reading your poem Rob.
Hi, Rob! Oh wow. I am sure your muse will be able to harvest some. Looking forward!
What a lovely prompt. We are in the middle of Storm Francis, so there may not be much wheat left by morning!
Stay safe Sarah. Autumn season here about to be unleashed.
Oh, dear! I hope you are all safe, Sarah!
This is such a beautiful, enticing challenge, Rosemarie and Grace! 💝 The image of those luscious wheat fields was enough to spark a poem 🙂 going to make my rounds now.. Happy Tuesday!
Thanks for joining us Sanaa! Happy Tuesday as well.
Oh wow! I am excited to read how they inspired your poem today, Sanaa! Thank you for joining!
You’re most welcome! 🙂
Welcome Rosemarie! I repurposed an existing poem about living across the street from wheat fields; I love to write about that time in my life, so I’ll do another just for the prompt and post later.
Wheat fields have a lovely color under the summer sky. Thanks for joining in.
Hi, Xan! Sounds interesting! Looking forward.
Hello Rosemarie, thanks for hosting and sharing those lovely poems. I very much enjoyed writing for the prompt as it’s a wonderful one. I hope you’ll like my submission.
Take care :))
Hi, Jay! Happy you enjoyed the prompt and looking forward to reading your poem!
Stay safe, too!
Hello, Grace and Rose, and all. I hope all is well in your neck of the woods. Stay safe and take care.
Hi, Eugenia! Thank you for joining this session! It’s a sunny Wednesday on my side of the world. I hope you are well!
My pleasure! We’re having a sunshiny day, as well. 🌻 🌞
That third poem from Neruda is just gorgeous! I’m not sure what to write yet, but thanks for the prompt, Rose!
Ahhh! I cannot agree more! Thank you and looking forward to reading your take on it.:)
Beverly, if you see this, I tried to comment on your poem twice but both comments disappeared.
Hi, everyone! I am rather late to the party and it is a sunny morning here in my corner of the world but I thank Grace and everyone for taking care of everyone’s drink last night. 🙂
I am looking forward to reading your poems about wheat!
Even later 🙂 I enjoyed this on a number of levels, I farmed for a time so grain is no stranger. Thank you Rosemarie and Grace.
Still have trouble posting on your personal Blogger site Grace, but I always read and admire your work. 🙂
I know it’s late… but I loved writing this 🙂