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Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair

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When it appeared in 1924, this work launched into the international spotlight a young and unknown poet whose writings would ignite a generation. W. S. Merwin's incomparable translation faces the original Spanish text. Now in a black-spine Classics edition with an introduction by Cristina Garcia, this book stands as an essential collection that continues to inspire lovers a When it appeared in 1924, this work launched into the international spotlight a young and unknown poet whose writings would ignite a generation. W. S. Merwin's incomparable translation faces the original Spanish text. Now in a black-spine Classics edition with an introduction by Cristina Garcia, this book stands as an essential collection that continues to inspire lovers and poets around the world. The most popular work by Chile's Nobel Prize-winning poet, and the subject of Pablo Larraín's acclaimed feature film Neruda starring Gael García Bernal.


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When it appeared in 1924, this work launched into the international spotlight a young and unknown poet whose writings would ignite a generation. W. S. Merwin's incomparable translation faces the original Spanish text. Now in a black-spine Classics edition with an introduction by Cristina Garcia, this book stands as an essential collection that continues to inspire lovers a When it appeared in 1924, this work launched into the international spotlight a young and unknown poet whose writings would ignite a generation. W. S. Merwin's incomparable translation faces the original Spanish text. Now in a black-spine Classics edition with an introduction by Cristina Garcia, this book stands as an essential collection that continues to inspire lovers and poets around the world. The most popular work by Chile's Nobel Prize-winning poet, and the subject of Pablo Larraín's acclaimed feature film Neruda starring Gael García Bernal.

30 review for Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair

  1. 4 out of 5

    Danny

    Tonight I Can Write Tonight I can write the saddest lines. Write, for example, "The night is starry and the stars are blue and shiver in the distance." The night wind revolves in the sky and sings. Tonight I can write the saddest lines. I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too. Through nights like this one I held her in my arms. I kissed her again and again under the endless sky. She loved me, sometimes I loved her too. How could one not have loved her great still eyes. Tonight I can write th Tonight I Can Write Tonight I can write the saddest lines. Write, for example, "The night is starry and the stars are blue and shiver in the distance." The night wind revolves in the sky and sings. Tonight I can write the saddest lines. I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too. Through nights like this one I held her in my arms. I kissed her again and again under the endless sky. She loved me, sometimes I loved her too. How could one not have loved her great still eyes. Tonight I can write the saddest lines. To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her. To hear the immense night, still more immense without her. And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture. What does it matter that my love could not keep her. The night is starry and she is not with me. This is all. In the distance someone is singing. In the distance. My soul is not satisfied that it has lost her. My sight tries to find her as though to bring her closer. My heart looks for her, and she is not with me. The same night whitening the same trees. We, of that time, are no longer the same. I no longer love her, that's certain, but how I loved her. My voice tried to find the wind to touch her hearing. Another's. She will be another's. As she was before my kisses. Her voice, her bright body. Her infinite eyes. I no longer love her, that's certain, but maybe I love her. Love is so short, forgetting is so long. Because through nights like this one I held her in my arms my soul is not satisfied that it has lost her. Though this is the last pain that she makes me suffer and these the last verses that I write for her.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Richard

    3 THINGS ABOUT THIS BOOK 1. I went to Pablo Neruda's house once. Well, I went to one of his houses. He had three of them. I was teaching English in Santiago, Chile at the time. I went to Neruda's house in Valparaiso, which is a beach town. Weirdly enough, I visited on my twentieth birthday, on a lark, because I just happened to be vacationing in a nearby cabin with my host family. The thing that I remember about Pablo Neruda's house is that it's set back in a grove of dark pine t 3 THINGS ABOUT THIS BOOK 1. I went to Pablo Neruda's house once. Well, I went to one of his houses. He had three of them. I was teaching English in Santiago, Chile at the time. I went to Neruda's house in Valparaiso, which is a beach town. Weirdly enough, I visited on my twentieth birthday, on a lark, because I just happened to be vacationing in a nearby cabin with my host family. The thing that I remember about Pablo Neruda's house is that it's set back in a grove of dark pine trees and that there's sand everywhere. The sky was dark that day and it was cold, even though it was in the summer. What I remember most about the experience wasn't the house itself, or the tour, or the nationalistic trinkets that vendors were trying to sell, but rather the feeling that the pine trees around the house evoked. They were like a dark magic that still sits in my mind six years later. Curious. Because this is the thing that stands out to me most about Neruda's poetry: the magnetic feeling of nature. The dirt and the flesh and the elements and the cold, wet, hot, dry. His poetry is so sensual, so primal, so tied to the earth (I know I sound like a hippie, but its true). When I look at my journal entries from this period in my life they're full of this sort of talk. I wrote about stars and cloud formations and the consistency of mud and the shape of a cheekbone. Southern Chile does this to you. The land casts a spell on you. Neruda put this spell into words. "Who writes your name in letters of smoke among the stars of the south? 2. I read "Twenty Love Poems" about five years ago, but I thought it was corny at the time. The edition I read had all these terrible erotic etchings in it. I hate that. I almost threw up. I don't believe in illustration much, because it insults the reader's imagination. Especially illustration in poetry, a genre which usually uses abstract images. This time when I read "Twenty Love Poems" I read it slowly. And it reminded me of southern Chile. It reminded me of gloomy mountains, and the beauty of the rivers and clouds and the darkness of the ocean. It reminded me of that period of time, when I turned twenty, right before my life changed in many ways. This time when I read "Twenty Love Poems" it meant something to me, because now I have been in love. I have been in love and have experienced all of the sorrows and thrills of love. Mostly sorrows. But the hope of future thrills. 3. I found a musty Time/Life book about South America at a thrift store near my house. In the book there is a photograph of Mr. Neruda seated at a wooden desk at his house in Valparaiso. He is wearing a sweater and staring out the window. He has a pen and ink in front of him and he is holding his head as though he's deep in thought or distressed. Or both. I have hung this picture up in my apartment. It makes me want to write. It makes me remember all of the dark clouds. It makes me remember that "love is so short, forgetting is so long."

  3. 5 out of 5

    Steven Godin

    Sensual poetic beauty, with a lingering sadness, this collection of poems written when Chilean Neruda was only 19 is a remarkable feat, but was not received well for the intense and sexual content, this time being 1924 I can understand why, however, there is no explicit text it's more to do with imagery using the surrounding environment, charting oceanic movements of passion along with the changing weather, to tell of youthful love. " I have gone marking the atlas of your body / with crosses of Sensual poetic beauty, with a lingering sadness, this collection of poems written when Chilean Neruda was only 19 is a remarkable feat, but was not received well for the intense and sexual content, this time being 1924 I can understand why, however, there is no explicit text it's more to do with imagery using the surrounding environment, charting oceanic movements of passion along with the changing weather, to tell of youthful love. " I have gone marking the atlas of your body / with crosses of fire. / My mouth went across: a spider, trying to hide. / In you, behind you, timid, driven by thirst.''. Becoming Neruda's best-loved work selling two million copies by the 1960s. Why? the imagery he conjures up is simply breathtaking but also painfully sad. ``On all sides I see your waist of fog, / and your silence hunts down my afflicted hours; / my kisses anchor, and my moist desire nests / in you with your arms of transparent stone.'' As irresistible as the sea, love is engulfing (``You swallowed everything, like distance. / . . . In you everything sank!''), but also departs as mysteriously as it arrived, leaving the poet's heart a ``pit of debris, fierce cave of the shipwrecked.'' In terms of the intensity of romance and the tenderness of love, this collection encapsulates so much, each piece stands alone, but always remains close to the others. Of the 20 poems on offer, not all made sense to me on first reading, but at only 70 pages in length, I will certainly be re-visiting in time. And then there's the seething "Song of Despair", a breakup song if I ever heard one, this for me was the highlight, words of such searing torment that were expressed with a heartbroken urgency. At such a young age, Neruda paints a mature picture of the abstract representations of life. To the contrary, the poems represent an open curiosity for different dimensions of life like sexuality, solitude, melancholy, and loss. Also, he does not idealize beauty and love, making his poetry far more authentically realistic. Nature is a constant presence throughout, with stars, rivers, wind, sky and sea reappearing in different contexts, lovers become nature itself. You can truly feel that each poem is reaching out to the other, sharing the same pleasure and plight. Highly recommended 5/5

  4. 4 out of 5

    Bill Kerwin

    Stephen Dobyns, in his forward to this edition, tells of what occurred at a poetry event in Venezuela, sometime in the ‘60’s. After Chilean poet Pablo Neruda concluded his prepared reading, he opened himself up to requests. The first request, from a member of this audience of six hundred, was for poem #20 from this book (“Tonight I could write the saddest lines”). When Neruda apologized, saying he had neglected to bring that particular poem, “four hundred people stood up and recited the poem to him.”

  5. 4 out of 5

    vie

    I do not love you except because I love you; I go from loving to not loving you, From waiting to not waiting for you My heart moves from cold to fire. I love you only because it's you the one I love; I hate you deeply, and hating you Bend to you, and the measure of my changing love for you Is that I do not see you but love you blindly. Maybe January light will consume My heart with its cruel Ray, stealing my key to true calm.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Samra Yusuf

    How beautifully fragile we are, that so many things take but a moment to alter who we are, for forever. We are all, just an unforeseen encounter, an unexpected phone call, a diagnosis, a newly found love, or a broken heart away from becoming a completely different person. Our hearts betray us to the places we never thought be visiting, our reasons fail us to the most uninvited chasms we surrender ourselves into, knowingly. Our souls ripped open and raw, our hearts on display, Love leaves vulnera How beautifully fragile we are, that so many things take but a moment to alter who we are, for forever. We are all, just an unforeseen encounter, an unexpected phone call, a diagnosis, a newly found love, or a broken heart away from becoming a completely different person. Our hearts betray us to the places we never thought be visiting, our reasons fail us to the most uninvited chasms we surrender ourselves into, knowingly. Our souls ripped open and raw, our hearts on display, Love leaves vulnerable at places, we never thought be touched. Neruda, explores love in many forms and stages. He writes about love that have been lost, love that replace solitude, and love that haunt lovers forever. At last, in the Song of Despair he encapsulates many of the concerns established through the sequence and offers a heightened emotional culmination: It is the hour of departure. Oh abandoned one! In you the wars and the flights accumulated. From you the wings of the song bird rose. You swallowed everything, like distance. Like the sea, like times. In you everything sank! Love in Nerudian realms starts as the most intense of passions, the yet alone lover hastens to explore every pore, he aches to become one with the beloved, there’s nothing else but the yearning to be close to the other, the presence that is felt through a hand held, a voice heard, or a smile seen, leaves him battered with desire, as souls know no calendar, nor do they understand the time or distance, they strive to collide, to become one, even for a moment, that lives for eternity.. I was alone like a tunnel. The birds fled from me, and night swamped me with its crushing invasion. To survive myself I forged you like a weapon, like an arrow in my bow, a stone in my sling. But the hour of vengeance falls, and I love you. Body of skin, of moss, of eager and firm milk. Oh the goblets of the breast! Oh the eyes of absence! Oh the roses of the pubis! Oh your voice, slow and sad! Lover is agitated to the point of uncertainty, the point where, we no longer are reader, but exchange roles, as if words are given to the choking thoughts we’ve long been weaving inside us, when I was reading them, I was filled with such longing and my heart sighed like it was in despair even when it wasn’t, or it truly was! I like for you to be still, and you seem far away. It souds as though you were lamenting, a butterfly cooing like a dove. And you hear me from far away, and my voice does not reach you: Let me come to be still in your silence. And let me talk to you with your silence that is bright as a lamp, simple as a ring. You are like the night, with its stillness and constellations. Your silence is that of a star, as remote and candid. I like for you to be still: it is as though you were absent, distant and full of sorrow as though you had died. One word then, one smile, is enough. And I am happy, happy that it's not true. Sensual Passion thaws into melancholy and melancholy weds despair, and we sense the tone of lover vicissitudes when faced with departure! How terrible and brief was my desire of you! How difficult and drunken, how tensed and avid. Cemetery of kisses, there is still fire in your tombs, still the fruited boughs burn, pecked at by birds. Oh the bitten mouth, oh the kissed limbs, oh the hungering teeth, oh the entwined bodies. Oh the mad coupling of hope and force in which we merged and despaired. And the tenderness, light as water and as flour. And the word scarcely begun on the lips. This was my destiny and in it was the voyage of my longing, and in it my longing fell, in you everything sank!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Seemita

    Tempting as it may appear to wrap the poetic pearls from this collection of Neruda’s heartbeats into a warm shawl of erotic wool, do resist it and pause. These loquacious verses that assemble at the nape of a lover or ripple playfully across the soft mountains of a beloved’s waist, magnify when viewed through the dual lenses of night and water . I have said that you sang in the wind like pines and like masts. Like them you are tall and taciturn, and you are sad, all at once, like a voyage. Tempting as it may appear to wrap the poetic pearls from this collection of Neruda’s heartbeats into a warm shawl of erotic wool, do resist it and pause. These loquacious verses that assemble at the nape of a lover or ripple playfully across the soft mountains of a beloved’s waist, magnify when viewed through the dual lenses of night and water . I have said that you sang in the wind like pines and like masts. Like them you are tall and taciturn, and you are sad, all at once, like a voyage. You gather things to you like an old road. You are peopled with echoes and nostalgic voices. I awoke and at times birds fled and migrated that had been sleeping in your soul. Throughout this collection, there are elements that sprout from these two shores, taking their own boundless attire once left to the ocean of the author’s imagination. I found it interesting to note that Neruda wrote these poems when he was just 19, implying the failures of his political aspirations and love relationships, besides his daughter’s premature death were still far away. Despite none of the later-years’ blackness charring his soul, his propensity to hinge his ode on night and water mirrors a certain yearning that isn’t a slave of reciprocity or longevity. Like the night and the nocturnal swagger, arousal is a reality and yet a mirage, something that will come in certainty but will be short-lived. Like the adaptability and slightness of water, love can superimpose rebuttals and tide over long leaps of unrequited love to reach a state where it will be nothing but itself, complete and calm. Neruda’s poems personify a charming surrender that fortifies the vulnerability of new love and removes the shame out of the advances that are nothing but a chime before the music. In the moist night my garment of kisses trembles charged to insanity with electric currents, heroically divided into dreams and intoxicating roses practicing on me. His hero gets high on the flowers and seasons, on the days and the night, on proximity and distance, on silence and chatter – his hero is the quintessential lover who refuses to let the flame of his emotion die, shielding it with verses after verses of untamable urgency. And with the final poem, one can almost imagine him slumping to the ground, dropping his gaze from his object of love and yet, not allowing the humming of his heart to lay still. Cemetery of kisses, there is still fire in your tombs, still the fruited boughs burn, pecked at by birds.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Gaurav

    I no longer love her, that's certain, but maybe I love her. Love is so short, forgetting is so long. -Pablo Neruda Neruda was accomplished in a variety of styles ranging from erotically charged love poems like his collection Twenty Poems of Love and a Song of Despair, surrealist poems, historical epics, and overtly political manifestos. Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair is an amazing collection of poetry. His words caress the senses; imager I no longer love her, that's certain, but maybe I love her. Love is so short, forgetting is so long. -Pablo Neruda Neruda was accomplished in a variety of styles ranging from erotically charged love poems like his collection Twenty Poems of Love and a Song of Despair, surrealist poems, historical epics, and overtly political manifestos. Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair is an amazing collection of poetry. His words caress the senses; imagery so delicious and fulfilling you can not only see it but smell and taste and feel it, this is a great collection of passionate poetic imagery with a tinge of sadness but, sadly though, it was scandalized due to its sexual content which shows limited understanding of human beings in general. Pablo Neruda brings love and rebellion to mind as soon as you think about him, he is considered to be synonym of love and strong emotions. Though I'm not a great fan of love poetry- I may have some preconceived notions- however I was spellbound and taken aback with pleasant surprise when I read Neruda. Time stops and modern life, with all its hustle and bustle, disappears. The weary reader, beaten to death by the speed at which today’s life is going, will be transported to a differently-paced world where time is not dictated by the rules of the clock but instead by the cadence of Neruda’s poetry. The city disappears and is replaced by mountains; the honking of cars is replaced by the singing of birds; and the indifference and cynicism that you feel will be replaced by a sense of longing. Such are the power of Neruda’s words. This is the world created by poetic artistry of Neruda. Here I Love You Here I love you and the horizon hides you in vain. I love you still among these cold things. Sometimes my kisses go on those heavy vessels that cross the sea towards no arrival. I see myself forgotten like those old anchors. The piers sadden when afternoon moors there. My life grows tired, hungry to no purpose. I love what I do not have. You are so far. My loathing wrestles with the slow twilights. But night comes and starts to sing to me, The moon turns its clockwork dream. I like For You To Be Still I like for you to be still: it is as though you were absent, and you hear me from far away and my voice does not touch you. It seems as though your eyes had flown away and it seems that a kiss had sealed your mouth. Neruda's ballads exemplify an enchanting surrender that invigorates the helplessness of new love and evacuates the disgrace out of the advances that are only a toll before the music. Love as we know it is a dangerous passion, it makes human beings vulnerable to be deceived, it brings with it anguish which keeps on haunting them till eternity, however some of the passions may not be as demanding as Neruda so aptly congeals the parts of nature with that of a human body. But even that innocuous seeming passion brings the feeling of despair, for these parts of nature reminds one of one's lover and the vulnerability associated with love encircles the person. So That You Will Hear me The wind of anguish still hauls on them as usual. Sometimes hurricanes of dreams still knock them over. You listen to other voices in my painful voice. Lament of old mouths, blood of old supplications. Love me, companion. Don't forsake me. Follow me. Follow me, companion, on this wave of anguish. Every Day You Play Every day you play with the light of the universe. Subtle visitor, you arrive in the flower and the water, You are more than this white head that I hold tightly as a cluster of fruit, every day, between my hands The tone in these ballads is steady, through these poems you can feel that these lyrics are addressing each other, having a similar anguish and joy. Be that as it may, in The Song of Despair there is an obvious change in the tone, the speaker is edgy as the memory of a sweetheart frequents him. The symbolism in these ballads is of wreck and misfortune: pit of garbage, furious give in of the shipwreck and substance. He likewise rehashes the line In you everything six times and each time its significance changes as the ballad develops in passionate power and agony. Additionally this reiteration gives the sonnet a melodic quality that relates with his want to title the ballad a song. A Song of Despair The memory of you emerges from the night around me. The river mingles its stubborn lament with the sea. Deserted like the wharves at dawn. It is the hour of departure, oh deserted one! ........ It is the hour of departure, the hard cold hour which night fastens to all the timetables. The rustling belt of the sea girdles the shore. Cold stars heave up, black birds migrate. Deserted like the wharves at dawn. Only the tremulous shadow twists in my hands. Oh farther than everything. Oh farther than everything. It is the hour of departure. Oh abandanoed one! It may look to a casual reader that these poems are about love between man and woman (the preconceived notions about the writer would also help) but it would be naive of a reader to think so, for the poems magnificently unwraps the anguish, uncertainty, longing and despair which are so elegantly weaved with the disguise of love.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jibran

    [Note on edit: This is not a review. These are peals of pleasure of a man drunk on Neruda wine, blurting out extempore, when he finished reading this poetry collection] Pablo Neruda – the name evokes romance and revolution in my consciousness, a riot of metaphors impregnated with sui generis imagery, a dark and intense celebration of love and beauty, a flood of high emotions that assails my senses and then dulls them, such that in that state of mind I'm receptive to nothing in the world except Neru [Note on edit: This is not a review. These are peals of pleasure of a man drunk on Neruda wine, blurting out extempore, when he finished reading this poetry collection] Pablo Neruda – the name evokes romance and revolution in my consciousness, a riot of metaphors impregnated with sui generis imagery, a dark and intense celebration of love and beauty, a flood of high emotions that assails my senses and then dulls them, such that in that state of mind I'm receptive to nothing in the world except Neruda's poetry. Everything else blacks out and I’m transported to a world I have never seen before – and it's beautiful, it is magnificent, it is dancing with the joy of love! I had never desired to learn Spanish, but after reading Neruda I wished I could find a way to experience him in the original, just as I wish I could improve my Persian to read Hafez and Rumi without the medium of translation. I really don't know how much of Neruda's Spanish is lost in translation, but whatever that has come down to us in English is more than sufficient to adore him. There is no one who so brilliantly marries nature's metaphors of earth, sea, wind, trees, moon, stars with the enchanting anatomy of the beloved. Every line testifies to Neruda's unique way of perceiving nature; he likens the beloved to nature, his beloved becomes nature. It is through meditations on the vast agricultural richness of his land that he finds the beloved, in the form of liberty, or in shape of an elusive woman, sometimes as an inextricable amalgamation of the two. They are inseparable. It is hard to make selections from this book; every poem is a work of wonder. Instead of copying many full-length poems, I am sampling some lines to show the luxuriant quality of imagery and the thunderous motion of his poems, the finesse of his thought, and the intensity of his style. Below are some of my favourite, quotable lines: The simple, fast and action-packed eroticism of the first lines of the opening poem, Body of a woman. "Body of a woman, white hills, white thighs, you look like a world, lying in surrender. My rough peasant’s body digs in you and makes the son leap from the depth of the earth." And see how, later on, from the 'white hills, white thighs', on which he gambols about with pleasure, she is transformed into a 'weapon' that offers him protection and provides him succor, through a process that remains a mystery to the poet and the reader: "I was alone like a tunnel. The birds fled from me, and night swamped me with its crushing invasion. To survive myself I forged you like a weapon, like an arrow in my bow, a stone in my sling." In 'Almost Out of the Sky' we have a 'cloudless girl', who shines like a clear sky, antithesis of greyness, an omniscient being whose presence is felt everywhere. But she is unknown and mysterious - she is a 'question of smoke', that appears and dissolves the next moment, without giving him a moment to regroup perceptions. She is as soft and silky as a 'corn tassel'. You can appreciate the finesse of this metaphor if you have pressed a corn tassel between your fingers! In this poem the beloved is cast into a formidable natural force that envelops and dominates the small and insignificant existence of the lover. He is in awe of her. This poem is asking to be quoted in full, without omission. So here it is: "Almost out of the sky, half of the moon anchors between two mountains. Turning, wandering night, the digger of eyes. Let’s see how many stars are smashed in the pool. It makes a cross of mourning between my eyes, and runs away. Forge of blue metals, nights of still combats, my heart revolves like a crazy wheel. Girl who have come from so far, been brought from so far, sometimes your glance flashes out under the sky. Rumbling, storm, cyclone of fury, you cross above my heart without stopping. Wind from the tombs carries off, wrecks, scatters your sleepy root. The big trees on the other side of her, uprooted. But you, cloudless girl, question of smoke, corn tassel. You were what the wind was making with illuminated leaves. Behind the nocturnal mountains, white lily of conflagration, ah, I can say nothing! You were made of everything. Longing that sliced my breast into pieces, it is time to take another road, on which she does not smile. Storm that buried the bells, muddy swirl of torments, why touch her now, why make her sad. Oh to follow the road that leads away from everything, without anguish, death, winter waiting along it with their eyes open through the dew." From Every day you play, Neruda finds the beloved in the most unlikely places. Holding a cluster of fruit is like holding beloved’s head: "Every day you play with the light of the universe. Subtle visitor, you arrive in the flower and the water. You are more than this white head that I hold tightly as a cluster of fruit, every day, between my hands. You are like nobody since I love you. Let me spread you out among yellow garlands. Who writes your name in letters of smoke among the stars of the south? Oh let me remember you as you were before you existed. Suddenly the wind howls and bangs at my shut window. The sky is a net crammed with shadowy fish. Here all the winds let go sooner or later, all of them. The rain takes off her clothes." And further on: "You are here. Oh, you do not run away. You will answer me to the last cry. Cling to me as though you were frightened. Even so, at one time a strange shadow ran through your eyes. How you must have suffered getting accustomed to me, my savage, solitary soul, my name that sends them all running. So many times we have seen the morning star burn, kissing our eyes, and over our heads the grey light unwind in turning fans." Neruda ends the poem with a striking image: "I want to do with you what spring does with the cherry trees." -- Originally posted 30/12/14

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    Veinte poemas de amor y una canción desesperada = Twenty love poems and a song of despair, Pablo Neruda Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair, is a collection of romantic poems, by the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, first published in 1924 by Editorial Nascimento of Santiago, when Neruda was 19. It was Neruda's second published work, after Twilight (1923) and made his name as a poet. Twenty love poems and a song of despair was controversial for its eroticism, especially considering its author's ve Veinte poemas de amor y una canción desesperada = Twenty love poems and a song of despair, Pablo Neruda Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair, is a collection of romantic poems, by the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, first published in 1924 by Editorial Nascimento of Santiago, when Neruda was 19. It was Neruda's second published work, after Twilight (1923) and made his name as a poet. Twenty love poems and a song of despair was controversial for its eroticism, especially considering its author's very young age. Over the decades, Twenty poems has become Neruda's best-known work, and has sold more than 20 million copies. Saddest poem I can write the saddest poem of all tonight. Write, for instance: "The night is full of stars, and the stars, blue, shiver in the distance." The night wind whirls in the sky and sings. I can write the saddest poem of all tonight. I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too. On nights like this, I held her in my arms. I kissed her so many times under the infinite sky. She loved me, sometimes I loved her. How could I not have loved her large, still eyes? I can write the saddest poem of all tonight. To think I don't have her. To feel that I've lost her. To hear the immense night, more immense without her. And the poem falls to the soul as dew to grass. What does it matter that my love couldn't keep her. The night is full of stars and she is not with me. That's all. Far away, someone sings. Far away. My soul is lost without her. As if to bring her near, my eyes search for her. My heart searches for her and she is not with me. The same night that whitens the same trees. We, we who were, we are the same no longer. I no longer love her, true, but how much I loved her. My voice searched the wind to touch her ear. Someone else's. She will be someone else's. As she once belonged to my kisses. Her voice, her light body. Her infinite eyes. I no longer love her, true, but perhaps I love her. Love is so short and oblivion so long. Because on nights like this I held her in my arms, my soul is lost without her. Although this may be the last pain she causes me, and this may be the last poem I write for her. Pablo Neruda تاریخ نخستین خوانش: سال 1974 میلادی عنوان: ب‍ی‍س‍ت‌ غ‍زل‍واره‌ و ی‍ک‌ غ‍م‌آوا؛ شاعر: پابلو نرودا ؛ ت‍رج‍م‍ه‌ ب‍ه‌ ان‍گ‍ل‍ی‍س‍ی‌: دابل‍ی‍و. اس‌. م‍روی‍ن‌؛ مترجم: ک‍ری‍م‌ رش‍ی‍دی‍ان‌؛ اصفهان: انتشارات بابک‏‫، ‌1351؛ در 85 ص؛ موضوع: ‏‫شعر شاعران شیلی به اسپانیایی‬ - سده 20 م عنوان: ب‍ی‍س‍ت‌ ش‍ع‍ر ع‍اش‍ق‍ان‍ه‌ و ی‍ک‌ س‍رود ن‍وم‍ی‍دی‌؛ شاعر: پ‍اب‍ل‍و ن‍رودا؛ برگردان: ف‍رود خ‍س‍روان‍ی‌؛ تهران، امیرکبیر، 1352؛ در 71 ص؛ چاپ دوم 1355؛ ‬عنوان: بیست شعر عاشقانه و آوایی از یاس؛ شاعر: پابلو نرودا ؛ مترجم: هانیه نیکو؛ تهران: تیسا‏‫، 1397؛ در 92 ص؛ شابک: 9786008942597؛‬ پابلو نرودا نام مستعار «نفتالی ریکاردو الیسر ریه‌ س باسوآلتو»، سایستمدار و شاعر شیلیائی ست. ایشان نام «نرودا» را از روی نام «یان نرودا» نویسنده ی «چک» برگزیده بودند. سپس «پابلو نرودا»، نام رسمی ایشان شد. ایشان با چاپ همین کتاب با عنوان: «بیست شعر عاشقانه و یک ترانه نومیدی»، به اوج شهرت رسیدند. نقل شعری از ایشان: «امشب میتوانم، غمگین ترین شعرها را بسرایم. مثلا بنویسم: شب پرستاره است. و ستاره ها آبی، چشمک زن، در دوردست؛ بادِ شبانه، در آسمان میچرخد، و آواز میخواند. امشب میتوانم غمگین ترین شعرها را بسرایم. او را دوست میداشتم، و گاه، او نیز، مرا دوست داشت. در شبهایی اینچنین، او را در بر و بازوانم میگرفتم. هماره زیر آسمان لایتناهی او را میبوسیدم. او مرا دوست داشت، و گاه، من نیز او را دوست داشتم. چشمانِ آرام بزرگ ایشان را، چگونه میتوان دوست نداشت؟ امشب میتوانم غمگین ترین شعرها را بسرایم. فکر اینکه او را ندارم، احساس اینکه از دستش داده ام. گوش دادن به شب بزرگوار، که بدون او بزرگتر هم هست. و شعر، که نزول میکند، بر روحم، همانند شبنم، که بر علف. چقدر اندوهگینم که عشقم نتوانست او را نگهدارد؟ شب پرستاره است، و او، با من نیست. تا همین اندازه کافی است. دوردست، یکی آواز میخواند. دوردست؛ روحم بدون او گم شده، تا مگر او را نزدم بیاورد. چشمانم دنبالش میگردد. دلم او را میجوید. و او با من نیست. همان شبها، همان درختان را سپید میکنند. ما از آن زمان، دیگر همان کس نیستیم که بودیم. دیگر دوستش ندارم - درست است - اما؛ چقدر دوستش داشتم. صدایم در جستجوی بادی ست، تا به گوشش برساند. کسی دیگر، او کسی دیگر را میخواهد. همچون پیش، که بوسه هایم را داشت. صدایش، بدن روشنش، چشمان نامحدودش، دیگر دوستش ندارم –درست است-؛ اما شاید هم دوستش داشته باشم. عشق اینچنین کوتاه، و فراموشی اینقدر طولانی؛ زیرا در شبهایی اینچنین، او را در آغوشم میگرفتم؛ روحم بدون او گم شده. اگرچه شاید این آخرین رنجی باشد؛ که به خاطر او میکشم؛ و این آخرین شعری ست؛ که برایش میسرایم. پابلو نرودا. گزینش و ...: ا. شربیانی

  11. 5 out of 5

    Traveller

    I adore Neruda's poetry. The only reason that I am giving 4 stars and not 5, is because the "woman as a doll" imagery that he seems fond of using put me off every time I came across it...

  12. 4 out of 5

    Luís C.

    It is true that when we are dealing with such an equally popular and admired author, we expect something extraordinary and therefore it spoils the effect of discovery. It was my first Neruda; a bilingual collection (where I had fun reading also the original version) which consists of three small collections of different forms. A very simple writing, but which reaches greatness, where the woman is in the center; all types of women and all types of metaphors. Neruda has managed to express herself It is true that when we are dealing with such an equally popular and admired author, we expect something extraordinary and therefore it spoils the effect of discovery. It was my first Neruda; a bilingual collection (where I had fun reading also the original version) which consists of three small collections of different forms. A very simple writing, but which reaches greatness, where the woman is in the center; all types of women and all types of metaphors. Neruda has managed to express herself around such common subjects as love and woman without falling into bad taste and without stumbling, as if he walked acrobatically on the blade of a knife. Personally, I keep a very beautiful memory of this reading; I enjoyed a lot of metaphors and puns. Lisbon Book-Fair 2019

  13. 4 out of 5

    Michael Finocchiaro

    One of the most beautiful collection of love poems ever (and followed by one which will bring tears to your eyes), Neruda is clearly a master of language and feeling and I always derive comfort from every time I read this book. She loved me, sometimes I loved her. How could I not have loved her large, still eyes? I can write the saddest poem of all tonight. To think I don’t have her. To feel that I’ve lost her. To hear the immense night, more immense without her. And the poem fall One of the most beautiful collection of love poems ever (and followed by one which will bring tears to your eyes), Neruda is clearly a master of language and feeling and I always derive comfort from every time I read this book. She loved me, sometimes I loved her. How could I not have loved her large, still eyes? I can write the saddest poem of all tonight. To think I don’t have her. To feel that I’ve lost her. To hear the immense night, more immense without her. And the poem falls to the soul as dew to grass. Kind of speaks for itself, don't you think?

  14. 5 out of 5

    Florencia

    Oír la noche inmensa, más inmensa sin ella. Y el verso cae al alma como al pasto el rocío. * To hear the immense night, still more immense without her. And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture. This is musicality being butchered. Always more interested in the song of despair, but I feel like giving this another try due to someone's review, and after many years. April 24, 19 * Sometimes, the more things change, the more they stay the Oír la noche inmensa, más inmensa sin ella. Y el verso cae al alma como al pasto el rocío. * To hear the immense night, still more immense without her. And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture. This is musicality being butchered. Always more interested in the song of despair, but I feel like giving this another try due to someone's review, and after many years. April 24, 19 * Sometimes, the more things change, the more they stay the same. Again, three stars. A bit tragic, despite being able to appreciate - in a way I couldn't before - Neruda's lyricism and its natural voluptuousness, especially considering he wrote this collection when he was only 19. Pensando, enredando sombras en la profunda soledad. Tú también estás lejos, ah más lejos que nadie. Pensando, soltando pájaros, desvaneciendo imágenes, enterrando lámparas. * Thinking, tangling shadows in the deep solitude. You are far away too, oh farther than anyone. Thinking, freeing birds, dissolving images, burying lamps. from Poem XVII The rest of the experience remains intact. But I sensed it. This is the kind of poetry I can relate to; the intensity and sentimentality I can bear: Lo perdido ¿Dónde estará mi vida, la que pudo haber sido y no fue, la venturosa o la de triste horror, esa otra cosa que pudo ser la espada o el escudo y que no fue? ¿Dónde estará el perdido antepasado persa o el noruego, dónde el azar de no quedarme ciego, dónde el ancla y el mar, dónde el olvido de ser quien soy? ¿Dónde estará la pura noche que al rudo labrador confía el iletrado y laborioso día, según lo quiere la literatura? Pienso también en esa compañera que me esperaba, y que tal vez me espera. * What is lost I wonder where my life is, the one that could have been and never was, the daring one or the one of gloomy dread, that other thing which could as well have been the sword or shield but never was? I wonder where is my lost Persian or Norwegian ancestor, where is the chance of my not being blind, where is the anchor, the ocean, where the forgetting to be who I am? I wonder where the pure night is that the unlettered working day entrusts to the rough laborer so that he can also feel the love of literature I also think about a certain companion who waited for me once, perhaps still waits. Love poem by Jorge Luis Borges April 26, 19 * Later on my blog.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Hirdesh

    "Speechless, my friend, alone in the loneliness of this hour of the dead and filled with the lives of fire, pure heir of the ruined day. " It was glorious one ! ! ! As I had seen recently in some friend's review and Crossing my other books, I've chosen to read it first which had been waiting for me so long in my shelf. Well, It's classic poetry with all the poetic devices were glittering in so wonderful form of words along in thread of rhythmic poetry. However, I'm k "Speechless, my friend, alone in the loneliness of this hour of the dead and filled with the lives of fire, pure heir of the ruined day. " It was glorious one ! ! ! As I had seen recently in some friend's review and Crossing my other books, I've chosen to read it first which had been waiting for me so long in my shelf. Well, It's classic poetry with all the poetic devices were glittering in so wonderful form of words along in thread of rhythmic poetry. However, I'm keen reader of profound and deeply influenced kind of poetry, This book was given me same taste for me. I'm glad and ecastic with motion of calm words of poet. Some of Great lines- *The numberless heart of the wind beating above our loving silence. Orchestral and divine, resounding among the trees like a language full of wars and songs. *There were thirst and hunger, and you were the fruit. There were grief and the ruins, and you were the miracle. Ah woman, I do not know how you could contain me in the earth of your soul, in the cross of your arms! *I no longer love her, that's certain, but maybe ! love her. Love is so short, forgetting is so long. Because through nights like this one I held her in my arms my soul is not satisfied that it has lost her *Between the lips and the voice something goes dying. Something with the wings of a bird, something of anguish and oblivion *Upstream, in the midst of the outer waves, your parallel body yields to my arms like a fish infinitely fastened to my soul, quick and slow, in the energy under the sky. "Leaning into the afternoons I fling my sad nets to that sea that beats on your marine eyes." "The water walks barefoot in the wet streets. From that tree the leaves complain as though they were sick" *So that 'You Will Hear Me But my words become stained with your love. You occupy everything, you occupy everything. I am making them into an endless necklace for your white hands, smooth as grapes

  16. 5 out of 5

    David Schaafsma

    One Hundred Love Sonnets: XVII Pablo Neruda Pablo Neruda was one of the great poets of the twentieth century, one of the great poets of all time—one of the great love poets, surrealist poets, political poets, poets of odes to common things. I don’t love you as if you were a rose of salt, topaz, or arrow of carnations that propagate fire: I love you as one loves certain obscure things, secretly, between the shadow and the soul. I love you as the plant that do One Hundred Love Sonnets: XVII Pablo Neruda Pablo Neruda was one of the great poets of the twentieth century, one of the great poets of all time—one of the great love poets, surrealist poets, political poets, poets of odes to common things. I don’t love you as if you were a rose of salt, topaz, or arrow of carnations that propagate fire: I love you as one loves certain obscure things, secretly, between the shadow and the soul. I love you as the plant that doesn’t bloom but carries the light of those flowers, hidden, within itself, and thanks to your love the tight aroma that arose from the earth lives dimly in my body. I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where, I love you directly without problems or pride: I love you like this because I don’t know any other way to love, except in this form in which I am not nor are you, so close that your hand upon my chest is mine, so close that your eyes close with my dreams. The film The Postman featured Neruda in Italy giving advice to a postman about how to win the love of a woman. Do you tell her she is beautiful? No. Do you tell her she is nice? No. Wonderful? No. So what is the answer?! Men, young and old, are waiting for the answer, Don Pablo! The answer: metaphor. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SMs8...

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jon(athan) Nakapalau

    Achingly beautiful and haunting - words that transition from falling stars to fireflies as you are lost in wanting - highest recommendation.

  18. 5 out of 5

    B. P. Rinehart

    This is a bilingual review: English first, then Spanish./Esta es una reseña bilingüe: inglés, luego español. (Muchas gracias, Miquel.) "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." - 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 by Paul of Tarsus. "You know that lan/>"You/>"Love This is a bilingual review: English first, then Spanish./Esta es una reseña bilingüe: inglés, luego español. (Muchas gracias, Miquel.) "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." - 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 by Paul of Tarsus. "You know that language changes over a thousand years, and words that were then in use now seem strange to us; but they really did talk that way, and they spoke as eloquently about love as anyone did in any age or country." - Modern paraphrase from book 2 of Troilus and Criseyde by Geoffrey Chaucer. "Love is a smoke raised with the fume of sighs; Being purged, a fire sparkling in lovers' eyes; Being vex'd a sea nourish'd with lovers' tears: What is it else? a madness most discreet, A choking gall and a preserving sweet." - Romeo and Juliet Act 1, scene 1 by William Shakespeare. "Just as time knew to move on since the beginning And the seasons know exactly when to change Just as kindness knows no shame Know through all your joy and pain That I'll be loving you always." - From the song "As" by Stevie Wonder. As the above quotes show, humans have been trying to define "love" forever. It is a concept that we contemplate on in some way, shape, or form, constantly with varying levels of success or basic understanding. I was content long ago to let St. Paul have the definitive word on this topic...until I met Señor Pablo Neruda. I did not think it was possible to really be able to define love more than once. Pablo Neruda successfully does it...twenty times! The edition of this book I read is a dual-translation, but my quotes from it will be in english and from the poem that made me pick it up: "Juegas Todos Los Días": "Every day you play with the light of the universe. Subtle visitor, you arrive in the flower and the water, You are more than this white head that I hold tightly as a bunch of flowers, every day, between my hands. You are like nobody since I love you. Let me spread you out among yellow garlands. Who writes your name in letters of smoke among the stars of the south? Oh let me remember you as you were before you existed. Suddenly the wind howls and bangs at my shut window. The sky is a net crammed with shadowy fish. Here all the winds let go sooner or later, all of them. The rain takes off her clothes." This poem hit me like a brick and I wanted to hear more and learn about the man who wrote it. Pablo Neruda was an almost unknown poet from Chile who shot to instant stardom when he published this volume of poetry. He would be the second internationally known South American writer after neighboring Argentinian Jorge Luis Borges. He was also a socialist who developed a close bond with the world's first democratically-elected Marxist president Salvador Allende. Neruda would die days after Allende's death and the aftermath of the coup against Allende by General Agusto Pinochet. "The birds go by, fleeing. The wind. The wind. I alone can contend against the power of men. The storm whirls dark leaves and turns loose all the boats that were moored last night to the sky. You are here. Oh, you do not run away. You will answer me to the last cry. Curl round me as though you were frightened. Even so, a strange shadow once ran through your eyes. Now, now too, little one, you bring me honeysuckle, and even your breasts smell of it. While the sad wind goes slaughtering butterflies I love you, and my happiness bites the plum of your mouth." These poems are so unashamed and forthright that it is almost shocking to think this collection was published in 1924. Neruda is not at all embarrassed to talk about love and he feels the utmost happiness and joy in each of his poems. His use of imagery would give T.S. Eliot a run for his money and he does not give you a weak poem in the bunch. Even the "Song of Despair" at the end is still at the same high passionate intensity as the preceding 20 poems. Whether you are in love or use to be in love (speaking for myself), you will appreciate this book's honest devotion and declaration to this ancient and yet new concept. "How you must have suffered getting accustomed to me, my savage, solitary soul, my name that sends them all running. So many times we have seen the morning star burn, kissing our eyes, and over our heads the grey light unwinds in turning fans. My words rained over you, stroking you. A long time I have loved the sunned mother-of-pearl of your body. Until I even believe that you own the universe. I will bring you happy flowers from the mountains, bluebells, dark hazels, and rustic baskets of kisses. I want to do with you what spring does with the cherry trees." -Poema XIV Desde siempre el hombre ha intentado definir el "amor". Es un concepto que contemplamos constantemente de muchas maneras, formas o figuras, con diferentes grados de éxito o de comprensión. Hace tiempo estaba contento con la manera en qué San Pablo definía este este tema... hasta que conocí el señor Pablo Neruda. No creía que fuera posible o capaces de definir el amor más de una vez. En cambio Pablo Neruda lo hace con éxito veinte veces! La edición de este libro que leí es una doble traducción, pero mis citas del poema "Juegas Todos Los Días" que recojo a continuación son en español: "Juegas todos los días con la luz del universo. Sutil visitadora, llegas en la flor y en el agua. Eres más que esta blanca cabecita que aprieto como un racimo entre mis manos cada día. A nadie te pareces desde que yo te amo. Déjame tenderte entre guirnaldas amarillas. Quién escribe tu nombre con letras de humo entre las estrellas del sur? Ah déjame recordarte cómo eras entonces, cuando aún no existías. De pronto el viento aúlla y golpea mi ventana cerrada. El cielo es una red cuajada de peces sombríos. Aquí vienen a dar todos los vientos, todos. Se desviste la lluvia." Este poema me golpeó como un ladrillo y quería saber más y aprender sobre el hombre que lo escribió. Pablo Neruda fue un poeta casi desconocido de Chile que saltó a la fama instantánea cuando publicó este volumen de poesía. Él sería el segundo escritor sudamericano más conocido internacionalmente después del vecino argentino Jorge Luis Borges. También fue un socialista que desarrolló un estrecho vínculo con el primer presidente marxista elegido democráticamente en el mundo, Salvador Allende. Neruda moriría días después de la muerte de Allende y las consecuencias del golpe de Estado contra Allende por el general Augusto Pinochet. "Pasan huyendo los pájaros. El viento. El viento. Yo sólo puedo luchar contra la fuerza de los hombres. El temporal arremolina hojas oscuras y suelta todas las barcas que anoche amarraron al cielo. Tú estás aquí. Ah tú no huyes. Tú me responderás hasta el último grito. Ovíllate a mi lado como si tuvieras miedo. Sin embargo alguna vez corrió una sombra extraña por tus ojos. Ahora, ahora también, pequeña, me traes madreselvas, y tienes hasta los senos perfumados. Mientras el viento triste galopa matando mariposas yo te amo, y mi alegría muerde tu boca de ciruela." Estos poemas son tan desvergonzados y directos que es casi chocante pensar que se publicaron en 1924. Pero Neruda no siente en absoluto vergüenza al hablar sobre el amor y una gran felicidad y alegría se transmite en cada uno de sus poemas. Su uso de imágenes daría T.S. Eliot un plazo para su dinero y él no le da un poema débil en el pelotón. Incluso la "canción desesperada" al final se encuentra todavía en el mismo nivel de intensidad apasionada como los 20 poemas anteriores. Si estás enamorado o lo has estado (éste es mi caso), podrás apreciar este libro de sincera y devota declaración a este concepto tan antiguo pero a la vez tan nuevo. "Cuanto te habrá dolido acostumbrarte a mí, a mi alma sola y salvaje, a mi nombre que todos ahuyentan. Hemos visto arder tantas veces el lucero besándonos los ojos y sobre nuestras cabezas destorcerse los crepúsculos en abanicos girantes. Mis palabras llovieron sobre ti acariciándote. Amé desde hace tiempo tu cuerpo de nácar soleado. Hasta te creo dueña del universo. Te traeré de las montañas flores alegres, copihues, avellanas oscuras, y cestas silvestres de besos. Quiero hacer contigo lo que la primavera hace con los cerezos." - Poema XIV

  19. 4 out of 5

    Apoorva

    Beautiful and sensual with a touch of lingering sadness. One of my favs: Tonight I can write the saddest lines. Write, for example,'The night is shattered and the blue stars shiver in the distance.' The night wind revolves in the sky and sings. Tonight I can write the saddest lines. I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too. Through nights like this one I held her in my arms I kissed her again and again under the endles Beautiful and sensual with a touch of lingering sadness. One of my favs: Tonight I can write the saddest lines. Write, for example,'The night is shattered and the blue stars shiver in the distance.' The night wind revolves in the sky and sings. Tonight I can write the saddest lines. I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too. Through nights like this one I held her in my arms I kissed her again and again under the endless sky. She loved me sometimes, and I loved her too. How could one not have loved her great still eyes. Tonight I can write the saddest lines. To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her. To hear the immense night, still more immense without her. And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture. What does it matter that my love could not keep her. The night is shattered and she is not with me. This is all. In the distance someone is singing. In the distance. My soul is not satisfied that it has lost her. My sight searches for her as though to go to her. My heart looks for her, and she is not with me. The same night whitening the same trees. We, of that time, are no longer the same. I no longer love her, that's certain, but how I loved her. My voice tried to find the wind to touch her hearing. Another's. She will be another's. Like my kisses before. Her voice. Her bright body. Her infinite eyes. I no longer love her, that's certain, but maybe I love her. Love is so short, forgetting is so long. Because through nights like this one I held her in my arms my soul is not satisfied that it has lost her. Though this be the last pain that she makes me suffer and these the last verses that I write for her.

  20. 5 out of 5

    whichwaydidshego?

    I took my time reading this, choosing to savor the succulent, vivid, tactile words. I must say, these poems are luscious! I feel their imagery as much as visualize it. Phrases such as "In the moist night my garment of kisses trembles..." A garment of kisses. How delightful! (I want one!) I also love how he is constantly mixing ideas of fire and water together, as if with love somehow they feed off each other where they should cancel each other out. "Bonfire of awe in which my thirst was b I took my time reading this, choosing to savor the succulent, vivid, tactile words. I must say, these poems are luscious! I feel their imagery as much as visualize it. Phrases such as "In the moist night my garment of kisses trembles..." A garment of kisses. How delightful! (I want one!) I also love how he is constantly mixing ideas of fire and water together, as if with love somehow they feed off each other where they should cancel each other out. "Bonfire of awe in which my thirst was burning." "...I go mounded on my one wave,/lunar, solar, burning and cold all at once." It is a delicate balance that is dynamic as the flames of passion grow and the cresting waves of excitement rise and crash in. As a side note, I love that the poem is shown in it's original language first and on the opposing page. It's intriguingly seductive to read the verse in it's original form and hear it's fluidity and elegance. Then, too, having the Picasso illustrations intermingled with Neruda's vibrant voice adds volume to the juxtaposition of his colliding passions. This is a lovely little tome that will envelop you and draw you back into it's pages with words like, "You undermine the horizon with your absence," calling out to the core of you.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Shine Sebastian

    Beautiful! Profusion of sweet and tender emotions poured at will. Sensual, poetic, nostalgic and melancholy.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Christy

    I'm not a good person at judging poetry, but thought I'd give this one a go after hearing it recommended on a Bookish podcast. I thought it was cool how it had the original Spanish version next to the translated one. I wish I knew Spanish because I bet this was even better in its intended form, however the translator did an excellent job with it. I also enjoyed the introduction because I got to learn some basics about Pablo Neruda - his life and work. It was very short - literally 20 I'm not a good person at judging poetry, but thought I'd give this one a go after hearing it recommended on a Bookish podcast. I thought it was cool how it had the original Spanish version next to the translated one. I wish I knew Spanish because I bet this was even better in its intended form, however the translator did an excellent job with it. I also enjoyed the introduction because I got to learn some basics about Pablo Neruda - his life and work. It was very short - literally 20 love poems and an extra one titled "A Song of Despair". I'm horrible at deciphering poetry, the imagery, meaning, symbolism, etc... But what I gathered from this was that it was beautifully crafted and very sensual. Particularly since it was published in 1924, I was kind of blown away with some of it. It was packed full of all the human senses and I got a overwhelming sense of loneliness throughout much of the poems. I would definitely try some more by this poet.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jareed

    Neruda does not play with the intangible. He does not waste words with the abstract. One simply needs to read and take in the pure and stark versification of the sensualities of life, both in love and lust. Neruda’s distinct style in poetry is easily distinguishable. First, his work is intuitive of the austere beauty of nature and his Chilean roots. The verses are reflective of the uncompromising beauty of the environment that he has witnessed in his formative years. The poems allude to the vastness Neruda does not play with the intangible. He does not waste words with the abstract. One simply needs to read and take in the pure and stark versification of the sensualities of life, both in love and lust. Neruda’s distinct style in poetry is easily distinguishable. First, his work is intuitive of the austere beauty of nature and his Chilean roots. The verses are reflective of the uncompromising beauty of the environment that he has witnessed in his formative years. The poems allude to the vastness of the pines, the heart of summer, sweet blue hyacinths, still ponds, barren lands, and white bees. “I will bring you happy flowers from the mountains, bluebells, dark hazels, and rustic basket of kisses.” (74, Poem XIV) Second, Neruda also leads us to enjoy the sweetness existing in realm of the senses. He fearlessly incorporates love and lust in his verses. “My somber heart searches for you, nevertheless, And I love your joyful body, your slender and flowing voice.” (75, Poem XIX) “Tonight I can write the saddest lines. I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.” (77, Poem XX) But to read and consume these two aspects of his poetry in a compartmentalized manner would be an affront to why Gabriel Garcia Marquez called Neruda “the greatest poet of the 20th century in any language." * Neruda combines the sensual experience of the individual with the beauty of the natural and the reader is treated to a union unlike any other. “Body of a woman, white hills, white thighs You look like a world, lying in surrender. My rough peasant’s body digs in you and makes the son leap from the depth of the earth.” (3 Poem I) “I go so far a to think that you own the universe. I will bring you happy flowers from the mountains, bluebells, dark hazels, and rustic basket of kisses. I want to do with you what spring does with the cherry trees.” (74, Poem XIV) notes: * The fragrance of guava: Conversations with Gabriel García Márquez. I did not give a short introduction on Neruda reserving most of my comments later on for a review on his memoirs. My copy is bilingual, a Spanish-English translation by W.S. Wermin, which definitely polished my rusting Spanish speaking skills. The same copy is infused with Pablo Picasso’s works like this, You get the idea that it seeks to perhaps contribute to the general them of the book, but I have no sound knowledge if this was sanctioned or approved by Neruda in its first translated printing in 1969, five years before he died, or whether the same pictures accompanied the first print in Chile in 1924, or if it appeared only in this copy published by Penguin Books. This book forms part of my remarkably extensive reading list on Nobel Prize for Literature Laureates This review, along with my other reviews, has been cross-posted at imbookedindefinitely

  24. 5 out of 5

    Roy Lotz

    Oh, the power to celebrate you with all the words of happiness To sing, to burn, to flee, like a church bell in the hands of a madman. Pablo Neruda is the most famous Spanish-speaking poet of the 20th century, perhaps in all of literature. He published this, his most popular book, when he was 19 years old—a fact which will fill you with hope or despair, depending on your age. Yet it is youth (being the period in which love is felt most and understood least) that is the best time to write love poe Oh, the power to celebrate you with all the words of happiness To sing, to burn, to flee, like a church bell in the hands of a madman. Pablo Neruda is the most famous Spanish-speaking poet of the 20th century, perhaps in all of literature. He published this, his most popular book, when he was 19 years old—a fact which will fill you with hope or despair, depending on your age. Yet it is youth (being the period in which love is felt most and understood least) that is the best time to write love poetry, as Neruda’s case proves. I found this book to be more difficult than I expected. In structure the poems range from metrical rhyming couplets to something approaching free-verse. For vocabulary, Neruda mainly sticks to the romantic poetic idiom developed in the previous century (every language has its own specialized stock of poetic words, it seems) and so the poems required some deciphering for me to understand them. But neither of these presented a real difficulty. Rather, what challenged me was that Neruda is a sensual poet. To a degree all poets are sensual, of course; but some are more so than others. As a contrast I would offer Antonio Machado, whose work I read just before this book, and whose poetry usually contains a conceptual core, a kernel of an idea, wrapped up within the images of the poem, which I could at least partially uncover. Neruda’s poems, by contrast, are driven by a touch rather than a thought. Now, I do not want to stress this dichotomy too much. It is one of the mysteries of the human mind that nothing can be thought without eliciting a feeling, and nothing can be felt without eliciting a thought; and that moods and beliefs, so apparently separate, are really deeply intertwined. Without this deep bond between concept and affect, poetry would hardly be possible, seeing as it plays on the hidden cords that stretch between our sensory, cognitive, and emotional worlds, finding strange harmonies in disparate sources, revealing hitherto unimagined connections in our inner architecture. And since love—and its dark twin, loss—resides at the center of this dusty network, Neruda has much to work with. I was alone like a tunnel. The birds fled from me and the night entered me with its powerful invasion. To survive, I forged you like a weapon, like an arrow in my bow, like a stone in my sling. But now falls the hour of vengeance, and I love you. Body of skin, of moss, of avid and firm milk. Translating his lines fails to do justice to Neruda, as it fails to do justice to any poet. This is not to say that poetry is absolutely untranslatable; too many poets have found success in foreign tongues for that to be believed. Nevertheless, something is obviously lost. To pick just one example, in one poem Neruda says he wants to make an infinite chain “para tus manos blancas, suaves como las uvas,” which translates to “for your white hands, soft like grapes.” To my ears, this line hardly works in English. For one, the parallel contour of “suave” and “uva” is lost; and more important, the word “uva” is a gentle-sounding word, while “grape” is harsh and grating. Situations like this happen often in translation, presenting the translator with a choice between literal or impressionistic fidelity; and both choices have their downsides. As you might expect of youthful love poetry, this book is full of ardor, of lust, of desperation, and of the deepest tenderness. The sky is pulled apart, the sea is drained, the stars are rearranged, the forests are uprooted, and the world itself is bent into new shapes in Neruda’s attempt to express his heart. Not a note rings false; there is much sentiment here but little sentimentality. Neruda (mostly) avoids self-pity—that curse of adolescence—and he uses personal metaphors to translate private feelings into universal experiences. Poetry could hardly strive for more. I like it when you’re still because it’s like you’re absent. Distant and painful as if you were dead. One word, then, one smile is enough. And I am happy, happy because it is not true.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Antonio

    “Tonight I can write the saddest lines I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.” I'm still drunk on Neruda's poems and to be honest, I'm not sure I'll sober up again anytime soon. The author's words seem to draw you into a kind of trance in which you start to say the poems out loud, creating a mixture of the poet's feelings and yours. You then keep the trance by listening to your own words, Neruda's words spoken through your tongue; the sound that could hypnotize you easily till dawn.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    Quick Update, 7-8-17: I didn't intend to review this again. In honesty, I'm trying to hit 150 for complete reads this year, which makes about four per week. I own a copy of this now and I knew how quickly I could read it. I'm shocked, stunned, mesmerized. I read some of his other writings and they didn't impact me the same, so I put Neruda at 20 on my list. Now I've moved him up to number 2, just under Kafka. The collection reads like a love story: a man lives a rough life, and a woman help Quick Update, 7-8-17: I didn't intend to review this again. In honesty, I'm trying to hit 150 for complete reads this year, which makes about four per week. I own a copy of this now and I knew how quickly I could read it. I'm shocked, stunned, mesmerized. I read some of his other writings and they didn't impact me the same, so I put Neruda at 20 on my list. Now I've moved him up to number 2, just under Kafka. The collection reads like a love story: a man lives a rough life, and a woman helps learn to live and love, and the painful resolution to the plot comes, but the story comes from his own life. He almost had me in tears because most of us can relate to being in love, going through difficulties and facing the inevitable end of all of us. ------------------------------------- I've finally found an author who makes me feel the way Kafka makes me feel, in a different, but equally powerful way. Rather than mull over each word I get into this canoe and Neruda paddles and sweeps me along this river path of love's delight and heartbreak, and intertwined in his memories I see flashes of personal memory. What a powerful, deep, intelligent and beautiful soul! Absolutely a favorite! You can't reverse engineer this! :-)

  27. 5 out of 5

    Tracey

    Poems that I love The Cataract of Lodore BY ROBERT SOUTHEY  From its sources which well  In the tarn on the fell;  From its fountains  In the mountains,  Its rills and its gills;  Through moss and through brake,  It runs and it creeps  For a while, till it sleeps  In its own little lake.  And thence at departing,  Awakening and starting,  It runs through the reeds,

  28. 4 out of 5

    Fareya

    "Always, always you recede through the evenings towards where the twilight goes erasing statues." An enduring collection of exquisite verses. Even though translated from Spanish, these words sound eloquent and lyrical. Simple, sensual, beautiful words filled with tenderness and a vivid imagination. "I will bring you happy flowers from the mountains, bluebells, dark hazels, and rustic basket of kisses. I want to do with you what spring does with the cherry trees." "I "Always, always you recede through the evenings towards where the twilight goes erasing statues." An enduring collection of exquisite verses. Even though translated from Spanish, these words sound eloquent and lyrical. Simple, sensual, beautiful words filled with tenderness and a vivid imagination. "I will bring you happy flowers from the mountains, bluebells, dark hazels, and rustic basket of kisses. I want to do with you what spring does with the cherry trees." Lush, rich, intense words filled with reverence and longing. "As all things are filled with my soul You emerge from the things Filled with my soul You are like my soul A butterfly of dream And you are like the word: Melancholy I like for you to be still And you seem far away It sounds as though you are lamenting A butterfly cooing like a dove And you hear me from far away And my voice does not reach you Let me come to be still in your silence" Passionate, evocative, haunting words filled with a burning desperation. "I no longer love her, that's certain, but maybe I love her. Love is so short, forgetting is so long. Because through nights like this one I held her in my arms my soul is not satisfied that it has lost her. Though this is the last pain that she makes me suffer and these the last verses that I write for her." The song of despair at the end is an assortment of heart breaking, soul shattering words that speak of a sizzling fiery torment. "The memory of you emerges from the night around me. The river mingles its stubborn lament with the sea. Deserted like the wharves at dawn. It is the hour of departure, oh deserted one! Cold flower heads are raining over my heart. Oh pit of debris, fierce cave of the shipwrecked. In you the wars and the flights accumulated. From you the wings of the song birds rose. You swallowed everything, like distance. Like the sea, like time. In you everything sank!" It is no wonder Pablo Neruda was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. However, what did not appeal to me was the objectification of women. I found it rather annoying. Apart from that, this is a lovely collection of elegant and intimate poems.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ilze

    Has anyone read and understood the Song of Solomon? Neruda must have. And he must have understood it too! These poems are more than just about the physical love between man and woman: they are about what happens to the soul. For some reason pine trees feature a fair amount here, from " ... as I love you, the pines in the wind / want to sing your name with their leaves of wire" to "I have said that you sang in the wind / like the pines and like the masts. / Like them you are tall and taciturn, / Has anyone read and understood the Song of Solomon? Neruda must have. And he must have understood it too! These poems are more than just about the physical love between man and woman: they are about what happens to the soul. For some reason pine trees feature a fair amount here, from " ... as I love you, the pines in the wind / want to sing your name with their leaves of wire" to "I have said that you sang in the wind / like the pines and like the masts. / Like them you are tall and taciturn, / and you are sad, all at once, like a voyage." He wants to "do with you what spring does with the cherry trees", but also knows that "the leaves complain as though they / were sick" in her absence. One can only say that he really loves her (and I wish I could understand the Chilean versions, also printed in the book), or that she left him and his love needed renewing with each new love. My words do not relate his beautiful descriptions for love, so I will be still: I like for you to be still It is as though you are absent And you hear me from far away And my voice does not touch you It seems as though your eyes had flown away And it seems that a kiss had sealed your mouth As all things are filled with my soul You emerge from the things Filled with my soul You are like my soul A butterfly of dream And you are like the word: Melancholy I like for you to be still And you seem far away It sounds as though you are lamenting A butterfly cooing like a dove And you hear me from far away And my voice does not reach you Let me come to be still in your silence And let me talk to you with your silence That is bright as a lamp Simple, as a ring You are like the night With its stillness and constellations Your silence is that of a star As remote and candid I like for you to be still It is as though you are absent Distant and full of sorrow So you would've died One word then, One smile is enough And I'm happy; Happy that it's not true (translated by W.S. Merwin)

  30. 4 out of 5

    Abubakar Mehdi

    The memory of you emerges from the night around me. The river mingles its stubborn lament with the sea. Deserted like the wharves at dawn. It is the hour of departure, oh deserted one!  Cold flower heads are raining over my heart. Oh pit of debris, fierce cave of the shipwrecked. In you the wars and the flights accumulated. From you the wings of the song birds rose. You swallowed everything, like distance. Like the sea, like ti The memory of you emerges from the night around me. The river mingles its stubborn lament with the sea. Deserted like the wharves at dawn. It is the hour of departure, oh deserted one!  Cold flower heads are raining over my heart. Oh pit of debris, fierce cave of the shipwrecked. In you the wars and the flights accumulated. From you the wings of the song birds rose. You swallowed everything, like distance. Like the sea, like time. In you everything sank!  Neruda is a magician. Its like he throws his words up in air and they fall back, like rain, endlessly floating around the reader, enchanting him body and soul. His poetry is Beautiful, surreal, haunting and something indescribable, like an ache of a wound long healed.

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