Poetry is white:
it comes from the water covered with drops,
it wrinkles and piles up,
the skin of this planet must be stretched,
the sea of its whiteness must be ironed,
and the hands move and move,
the holy surfaces are smoothed out,
and that is how things are made:
hands make the world each day,
fire becomes one with steel,
linen, canvas, and cotton arrive
from the combat of the laundries,
and out of light a dove is born:
chastity returns from the foam.
-translation by Stephen Mitchell
The images can be found on the incredibly talented Ann Wood's flickr page. Her work and studio are a wonderful indication of how she navigates the laundry Neruda speaks of. Her blog and store are here.