Ode to the Lemon

Jalen Goins

Pablo Neruda

Facts On Pablo

- Born on July 2nd 1904 – September 23rd 1973

-Chilean poet

- His poems on romantic love were most popular.

-In 1971 Neruda won the Nobel Prize for Literature.

- Died of cancer shortly after resigning as an ambassador in France

Poem: Ode to the Lemon

From those lemon flowers
Set free
By the light of the moon
From that
Odor of a love
Sunken in fragrance,
There came
From the Lemon tree its yellow,
From its planetary system
The lemons came down to the earth.

Tender merchandise!
Our shores filled up with it,
The markets
Of light, of gold
From a tree,
And we open up
The two halves
Of a miracle,
Congealed acid
Which ran
From the hemispheres
Of a star
And the most profound liquor
In nature,
Unchanging, alive,
Born from the freshness
Of the lemon,
From its fragrant house,
From its acid, secret symmetry.

Inside the lemon the knives
A small
The window hidden behind the altars
Opened to the light its glassy acids,
And in drops
Like topazes they were dripped
Onto the altars
By the architecture of freshness.

So when your hand
Squeezes the hemisphere
Of the cut
Lemon onto your plate,
A universe of gold,
You have poured out
Yellow cup
Full of miracles
One of the sweet-smelling nipples
Of the breast of the earth,
A ray of light that became a fruit,
The diminutive fire of a planet


Congealed- become or make liquid thick, make firm

Diminutive- small little or tiny

Literary Devices

Imagery- The poem has lots of imagery but in my opinion the line that gives a unique picture in my head is “A universe of gold”

Assonance- The 5th line down “Odor of a Love” all have the long O sound. Also on lines 34 and 35 “A small, Cathedral” all have the long A sound.

Metaphor- In the poem Pablo is saying that the Lemon is the earth when he calls it the nipple.

My meaning to Ode of the Lemon

In my opinion I believe that the poem has many different points to it. First in foremost I believe that Pablo really loved the color yellow because of him repetitively talking about lemons and how yellow they are and also about how he talked about Cathedrals which are yellow colored windows. Something tells me that the color yellow must represent love in a way for him. I also think that the poem talks about the creation of mankind. It seems like when you're first reading the poem it is the start of something, or human/ mankind, and as you go towards the middle he talks about cutting the lemon and everything pouring out of it and miracles begin to happen such as humans being born. In the end I get the vibe that Pablo is talking about how the chain will go on and on and that a new world will appear eventually in time. He is using the lemon as a reference to the universe. From all that I get the idea that Pablo really loved the world he lived in.


There really is no rhyme scheme or pattern to Ode of the Lemon. The style of the poem is very calm, but it has an intense expression praising some sort of object (Universe). The structure of the poem is broken down into 4 stanzas.

Tone and Theme

I believe that the tone is very calm and very expressive at some points throughout the poem. There really is no negative attitude in the poem. I think the message that he was trying to tell the readers is that the world we live in is very precious and we should love and take care of it.