Poetry Friday: In the Style of Neruda

Write a poem in the style of Neruda.

The urge to skip this month’s Poetry Sisters challenge was strong. I went to last Sunday’s zoom meeting with an idea for a way to come to this challenge through the back door. I was also hoping for a Cliffs Notes version of The Style of Neruda that could help me on my way, or, at the very least, provide content for my cheat. I got both.

Tricia shared this recent children’s book:

And others reminded me that Neruda is known for his odes. (Also sonnets, but only Tanita had the bandwidth to go that direction. Yay, Tanita!)

Here’s my cheat: a golden shovel with the striking line running through the middle of the poem, inspired by Neruda’s BOOK OF QUESTIONS and my garden.


We are still inside National Poetry Month, so I was determined, also, to get a cherita out of this challenge. I leaned in the direction of Neruda’s odes for this one.

Here’s what the rest of the Poetry Sisters came up with this month:
Liz @ Liz Garton Scanlon
Tricia @ The Miss Rumphius Effect
Tanita @ {fiction, instead of lies}
Sara @ Read Write Believe
Laura @ Laura Purdie Salas

Ruth has this week’s Poetry Friday roundup at There is no such thing as a God-forsaken town and the Progressive poem is at Still in Awe with Karin Fisher-Golton.

Happy Almost the End of National Poetry Month! All of my cheritas can be found at Poetrepository. So that I can catch up reading YOUR projects, I declare May to be Read What Everyone Else Did for NPM Month!

21 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: In the Style of Neruda”

  1. “Who dances in between these raindrops?”
    What a gorgeous image! The whole poem is beautiful, but that line grabbed me and wouldn’t let go.

    And yes, May definitely needs to be all about catching up on reading of NOM projects.


  2. Both of your poems are spot-on, Mary Lee! I especially like the Golden Shovel and how you weaved it into the middle. “Who dances in between these raindrops” indeed!


  3. Well, good for you, Mary Lee. You found cheats that were very acceptable and Neruda-like. I love the questions you ask in your garden, and wondering what questions he would ask. Well played!


  4. You did it! I think your questions are quite charming — and I love today’s cherita with the white-crowned sparrow — don’t they look EXACTLY as advertised? We have tons of them, and they’re hilarious.


  5. It’s good to take a shortcut now & then, or “cheat” as you actually said you did! I am glad you didn’t ignore the cheritas. This & others are guiding me slowly down the road to the end. Thanks, Mary Lee!


  6. I love how we’re both enjoying white throated sparrows 🙂 but mostly I loved your poem of questions. “Who dances in between these raindrops?” is a stunning line and there’s something about the questioning of bluebells that also really resonated. I think I mostly just want to hear their answers.


  7. Your efforts are impressive, MaryLee! I love the line about the clematis vine. They do coil! And Peterson guides – well, of course, I have a few of those myself, being a gardener and nature lover. I’ve spent a lot of time lately with my Peterson Guide to fungi! Thanks for sharing – I’m glad you didn’t “skip” the challenge!


  8. Mary Lee, YES to those white-crowned sparrows! They are so beautiful right now. And easy to identify, unless some of their brethren. The Golden Shovel is really nice as well. I need to get that Neruda picture book of questions.


  9. I like your “golden spine” poem…but I think that most of your cheritas, while not *styled* in the style of Neruda, have the flavor of Neruda–which is partly why I’m loving them. And looking forward to getting my hands on that book!


  10. I love how you lined up and bolded your prompt among these lovely questions. And another nailed it Neruda cherita.


  11. Oh, you smarty-pants, you! Very clever way to address the challenge while being spot on with questions. I think you’d get a nod from the poet himself.


  12. It’s that last line for me… it really makes me want to ask questions of ALLLL the poets. Also, in order to make the golden shovel line up, you ended up writing a poem that looks like a bird, linking your two poems together. How satisfying!! Brava!!


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