Ode to Common Things by Pablo Neruda

I have a crazy,
crazy love of things.
I like pliers,
and scissors.
I love
and bowls –
not to speak, or course,
of hats.
I love
all things,
not just
the grandest,
small –
and flower vases.
Oh yes,
the planet
is sublime!
It’s full of pipes
through tobacco smoke,
and keys
and salt shakers –
I mean,
that is made
by the hand of man, every little thing:
shapely shoes,
and fabric,
and each new
bloodless birth
of gold,
carpenter’s nails,
clocks, compasses,
coins, and the so-soft
softness of chairs.
Mankind has
oh so many
Built them of wool
and of wood,
of glass and
of rope:
ships, and stairways.
I love
not because they are
or sweet-smelling
but because,
I don’t know,
this ocean is yours,
and mine;
these buttons
and wheels
and little
fans upon
whose feathers
love has scattered
its blossoms
glasses, knives and
scissors –
all bear
the trace
of someone’s fingers
on their handle or surface,
the trace of a distant hand
in the depths of forgetfulness.
I pause in houses,
streets and
touching things,
identifying objects
that I secretly covet;
this one because it rings,
that one because
it’s as soft
as the softness of a woman’s hip,
that one there for its deep-sea color,
and that one for its velvet feel.
O irrevocable
of things:
no one can say
that I loved
or the plants of the jungle and the field,
that I loved
those things that leap and climb, desire, and survive.
It’s not true:
many things conspired
to tell me the whole story.
Not only did they touch me,
or my hand touched them:
they were
so close
that they were a part
of my being,
they were so alive with me
that they lived half my life
and will die half my death.

Ode to Common Things by JohnMcCutcheon

Each evening as the sun glows red
And all creation tilts toward bed
While food is in the kitchen yet
Three things are on the table set
A bowl, a cup a humble plate
And in that instant as we wait
Our bounty?s praise we sit and sing
The poorest man, the richest king
These three reminders in my home
How man can turn the earth to stone
Water, fire, earth and wheel
The hand of man, the evening meal
With promise, patience, luck and heat
We each shall toil, we each shall eat
From cupboard shelf to table grace
Everything is in its place

Ah, bowl! Two cupped hands raised in prayers
No other dish with you compares
You fit securely in our palms
For feasting and for begging alms
The first and last we each will use
For soups and grains and steaming stews
Puddings, rice, ice creams and tarts
You fill our hands, you fill our hearts

This cup the earth rose from its mud
Now skin of grape, as red as blood
It?s curve as soft as woman?s hip
I raise it nightly to my lip

The plate is both the sun and moon
Rising at my place each noon
The Angelus, the sacrament
And supper when the day is spent
A perfect disk in soapy sink
On these small things I often think
This trinity here at my place
I bow my life and offer grace

I sing an ode to common things
To napkins, razors, balls of string
I sing of fountain pens, of chairs
Of ribbons in a lover?s hair
Of things so simple, small and good
I might forget them if I would
Not pause each day and thus attest
I am a man uncommonly blest