Live Virtual Group Session: 6pm EDT October 5th 2020

Thank you to everyone who joined us for this session!

Our text was the poem “Ode to a Pair of Scissors” by Pablo Neruda, posted below.

Our prompt was: “Write an ode to something common.”

More details about this session will be posted soon, so check back!

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Please join us for our next session Wednesday, October 7th at 12pm EDT, with more times listed on our Live Virtual Group Sessions page.


"Ode to a Pair of Scissors" by Pablo Neruda

Prodigious scissors
(looking like birds, or fish),
you are as polished as a knight’s
shining armor.
 
Two long and treacherous
knives
crossed and bound together
for all time,
two
tiny rivers
joined:
thus was born a creature for cutting,
a fish that swims among billowing linens,
a bird that flies
through
barbershops.
 
Scissors
that smell of
my seamstress
aunt’s
hands
when their vacant
metal eye
spied on
our
cramped childhood,
tattling
to the neighbors
about our thefts of plums and kisses.
There,
in the house,
nestled in their corner,
the scissors crossed
our lives,
and oh so
many lengths of
fabric
that they cut and kept on cutting:
for newlyweds and the dead,
for newborns and hospital wards.
They cut
and kept on cutting,
also the peasant’s
hair
as tough
as a plant that clings to rock,
and flags
soon
stained and scorched
by blood and flame,
and vine
stalks in winter,
and the cord
of
voices
on the telephone.
 
A long-lost pair of scissors
cut your mother’s
thread
from your navel
and handed you for all time
your separate existence.
Another pair, not necessarily
somber,
will one day cut
the suit you wear to your grave.
 
Scissors
have gone
everywhere,
they’ve explored
the world
snipping off pieces of
happiness
and sadness
indifferently.
Everything has been material
for scissors to shape:
the tailor’s
giant
scissors,
as lovely as schooners,
and very small ones
for trimming nails
in the shape
of the waning moon,
and the surgeon’s
slender
submarine scissors
that cut the complications
and the knot that should not have grown inside you. 
 
Now, I’ll cut this ode short
with the scissors
of good sense,
so that it won’t be too long or too short,
so that it
will
fit in your pocket
smoothed and folded
like
a pair
of scissors.
 
                                                                       
Pablo Neruda
Ode to Common Things 
New York: Bullfinch Press: 1994
Translator Ken Krabbenhoft