IN PRAISE OF IRONING
Poetry is pure white.
It emerges from water covered with drops
is wrinkled, all in a heap.
It has to be spread out, the skin of this planet,
has to be ironed out, the sea’s whiteness;
and the hands keep moving, moving,
the holy surfaces are smoothed out,
and that is how things are accomplished.
Every days, hands are creating the world,
fire is married to steel,
and canvas, linen, and cotton come back
from the skirmishings of the laundries,
and out of light a dove is born–
pure innocence returns out of the swirl.
—Pablo Neruda, Fully Empowered
Translated by Alastair Reid