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56 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unparalleled Beauty
"100 Love Sonnets" was my introduction to Pablo Neruda, and I have to say these are some of the most beautiful poems that I have ever read. I'm not a huge poetry fan, and so I was amazed that I read all the poems all the way through in one sitting. Anyone who has ever loved someone will feel these poems flow though their soul. Anyone who has ever tried to...
Published on June 8, 1997

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71 of 76 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars tragically misleading
I hate to rain on everyone's parade but Stephen Tapscott's translation of Pablo Neruda's evocative and beautiful poetry is crass, misleading and patronizing. It is an insult to the memory of a great poet and a disgrace to translation in general. I have read the collection several times and it angers me each time to see what this man has done to poetry that is subtle as...
Published on March 21, 2000 by gustavo escobedo


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71 of 76 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars tragically misleading, March 21, 2000
By 
gustavo escobedo (Bangkok, Thailand.) - See all my reviews
This review is from: 100 Love Sonnets: Cien sonetos de amor (Texas Pan American Series) (English and Spanish Edition) (Paperback)
I hate to rain on everyone's parade but Stephen Tapscott's translation of Pablo Neruda's evocative and beautiful poetry is crass, misleading and patronizing. It is an insult to the memory of a great poet and a disgrace to translation in general. I have read the collection several times and it angers me each time to see what this man has done to poetry that is subtle as it is open ended. Every single poem in this collection is manipulated my Mr. Tapscott. He constantly replaces words when perfect English equivalents are available. He changes the tenses in which the poems are written and inserts his own concepts when he deems necessary. Worst of all he "explains" the poems in his translation. Time and again Tapscott fails to see the beauty of an ambiguity intended by Neruda and procedes to write phrases that are one dimensional and often fail to convey even the basic core of the work. As to the sound and rythm of the collection, Tapscott goes out of his way to destroy the structure of the poems and their gentle flow. It is a shame that English speakers interested in Pablo Neruda's poetry have only this translation by which to judge his genius. Please save your money and wait for a translation that better represents these great poems.
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56 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unparalleled Beauty, June 8, 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: 100 Love Sonnets: Cien sonetos de amor (Texas Pan American Series) (English and Spanish Edition) (Paperback)
"100 Love Sonnets" was my introduction to Pablo Neruda, and I have to say these are some of the most beautiful poems that I have ever read. I'm not a huge poetry fan, and so I was amazed that I read all the poems all the way through in one sitting. Anyone who has ever loved someone will feel these poems flow though their soul. Anyone who has ever tried to write a love poem, this is the standard by which they are judged.
The sonnets are presented in the original Spanish, and translated to English by Stephen Tapscott. Tapscott should be commended for translating the poems without them losing any power or beauty.
Reading these poems isn't enough, they need to be read aloud. The Spanish (even with a mangled accent like mine) is very lyrical and beautiful. I've found that reading the English, so I understand the poem better, helps me to read the Spanish with the proper passion they deserve.
If you're even the slightest bit romantic, this book should be in your home. I don't own any other poetry books, but I will never lose my copy of "100 Love Sonnets"
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and Brilliant, April 23, 2001
By 
Oddsfish (United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: 100 Love Sonnets: Cien sonetos de amor (Texas Pan American Series) (English and Spanish Edition) (Paperback)
I do not read Spanish, and so, I cannot tell the quality of Stephen Tapscott's translation. I cannot tell how much was lost from Neruda's original poems in their power. I cannot tell what was lost in their linguistics. I can say that each poem in this collection is absolutely beautiful. I have not been a great poetry reader for very long (I'm eighteen), but in the last year, I have read thousands of poems. Pablo Neruda's poems in translation are absolutely my favorites. These one hundred sonnets rank as highly with the other gorgeous translations that I have read. The poems in this book are all very freely written sonnets. Almost all that survives from the sonnets original form is the number of lines. Each poem is powerful, and Neruda is marvelous at pouring himself and his feelings for his wife into each. My favorite poem is certainly the seventeenth. Fans of Neruda's other poetry should enjoy this edition (as should fans of any great poetry), and I do hope that translations continue to be printed in the hope that Neruda will be done justice. I also hope that I can one day learn Spanish well enough to understand these sonnets in their original language.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Neruda: Lost in Translation, June 13, 2004
This review is from: 100 Love Sonnets: Cien sonetos de amor (Texas Pan American Series) (English and Spanish Edition) (Paperback)
I am very sad to report that this volume, the only volume I know of the 100 Love Sonnets, is poorly translated. I've owned it for a while, and always wondered why it never seemed powerful like Neruda's other works. So, I started translating them myself, and realized that Tapscott made some remarkable errors, and seems always to have chosen the least likely translation of words and idioms, and the least poetic phrasing. In many poems the sense is so far removed from the original, that I am reminded of those one-page instruction manuals that used to come with Chinese-manufactured products many years ago.
For example: A trail crossing a meteor shower becomes "a streak of a meteor through rain."
"Through that name run wooden vessels" (think of a play on veins, and ships, which later pour into his heart) becomes "Wooden ships sail through that name."
"but leave me there in your name to sail and to sleep," becomes "only let me steer like a ship through your name; let me rest there."
"the lonely trains follow rolling down with the rain" becomes "rolling with the rain we follow the tracks alone."
These are not isolated occurances; this is a pattern that seems to prevail throughout every poem I've checked so far. Poetry is complex. Words are often used to mean many things at once. Tapscott, presumably a poet himself, should know this, but he makes choices that block most of the view, or which simply substitute another image altogether. That is often necessary in translations, but this goes way beyond artistic license. This is the product of simply not "getting it." In addition, his subjects often do not agree with verbs, or worse, he pairs the verb with the wrong subject.
I wish I could support this book. It should be a very important one, but it sadly misrepresents Neruda's poetry. It makes me wonder about so many of the translations I read, and it makes me wonder if publishers accept any responsibility for the accuracy of a translated work. I commend Tapscott for having the fortitude to attempt this work and carry it out, but I don't believe he was really up to the task. Sorry, but only one star for this.
Shooshie
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My review is based upon Sonnet 17., September 3, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: 100 Love Sonnets: Cien sonetos de amor (Texas Pan American Series) (English and Spanish Edition) (Paperback)
Pablo Neruda captured the hearts of many people, especially me. I fell in love with Sonnet 17 in English class my senior year of High School. Then to hear it in one of the best movies, Patch Adams, was so incredible. It says exactly what I want to say to someone I really love but have no words for.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great earthy poetry, December 5, 2005
By 
Dennis Mitton "tolstoy" (Seattleite in South Carolina, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: 100 Love Sonnets: Cien sonetos de amor (Texas Pan American Series) (English and Spanish Edition) (Paperback)
It's surprising to some (who call me grumpy!) but in my private time I love to settle down and read poetry. These "100 Love Sonnets," written in the 1950's by Neruda for his wife, are some of my favorites. I like Neruda because of his earthiness ("You sing and your voice peels the husk of the day's grain...") and his depiction of love in the middle of every day. This is not a love surrounded by fairies and cherubs. This is a love covered with dirt and sweat, of life and death, of getting up and of lying down. If your tastes run more toward `poetic' poetry (such as the English Romantics) you might find these poems too modern and rough. If you read Spanish there's a bonus here (or, if you're a Spanish speaker who reads English) as the poems are also published (side by side) with their original Spanish.

Love dragged its tail of pain,

Its train of static thorns behind it,

And we closed our eyes so that nothing,

So that no wound could divide us.

Great stuff.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you buy one book, this has to be it, April 17, 2002
By 
JET (Parker, CO United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: 100 Love Sonnets: Cien sonetos de amor (Texas Pan American Series) (English and Spanish Edition) (Paperback)
This book has served many purposes for me. It was a Valentine's Day present for my fiance (then my boyfriend of 3 months). I chose a poem to read at our wedding. I read it for pleasure. I read it to renew my interest in Spanish. I recommended it to everyone and anyone.
Neruda's poetry is nothing short of astounding. This book is perfect, since a lot of people prefer love poetry if they do not normally read poetry. It has the Spanish version on one side of the page, and the English translation on the other.
The poems range from touching to angry to erotic to mournful to playful. Neruda's descriptions will make you look at the world with new eyes. Neruda is one of the only poets I have come across who approached love like Shakespeare: with a variety of emotions and perspectives. Another refreshing thing is that Neruda is very passionate and worshipful of women, never spiteful or cruel. His poetry is also very personal, as much of it seems to be directed toward his wife.
Buy this to find a perfect poem for a reading or speech. Buy it as a gift for a lover or loved one, or a romantic friend. Please, just buy it to have on your library shelf, for your friends and your children to pick up and discover.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Collection of Pablo Neruda's best stuff., August 21, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: 100 Love Sonnets: Cien sonetos de amor (Texas Pan American Series) (English and Spanish Edition) (Paperback)
This book gave extra life to the relationship between my girl friend and I. We now recite his Sonnets and Poems to express our feelings towards each other. Recommend this for any relationship or individual looking for some kind of romantic feelings.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent Neruda......, October 29, 2004
This review is from: 100 Love Sonnets: Cien sonetos de amor (Texas Pan American Series) (English and Spanish Edition) (Paperback)
I have been an avid lover of Neruda's work for ten years now. The first book of collected works I read by the glorious exhiled poet from Chile was "5 Decades," which I polished off in 48 hours. I was a twelve year old Neruda fiend from then on.

"100 Love Sonnets" does not fail to disappoint. What you have to keep in mind when you read this bilingual collection is not the strength or weakness of the English interpretation, but your own interpretation of the original Spanish. It is probably best that you read this with Spanish/English dictionary in hand. Not only will you be able to get a sense of the literal translation, but if you aren't a native speaker, will also learn considerable Spanish vocabulary. I would agree with some of the reviewers that the interpretation does fall short. There really is no beating the original Spanish text. There are even simple mistakes made on basis verb tense. Example: "Vendras conmigo" dije--sin que nadie supiera donde y como latia mi estado doloroso.....

Stephen Tapscott says, "Come with me," I sai, and no one knew where, or how my pain throbbed.....

Actually, literal translation would be, "You will come with me," I said--without anyone knowing when and how painful and throbbing was my state....

Quite different, no? Well, at any rate, these poems are worth knowing on intimate level for any lover of literature--Latin American or otherwise. I only hope Neruda can forgive Mr. Tapscott his ignorance of one of the most beautiful romance languages and the significance of the powerful and seductive words the masterful poet chose to describe the affairs of the heart that are at once universal, affirmative and, at times, desperate.....Though the metaphors are watered down in this interpretation, with a good bilingual dictionary and some patience, you can get a sense for yourself of the grand power of his words.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Incredible poems - MISERABLE TRANSLATION., February 4, 2002
By 
"carlmarks" (Annapolis, MD USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: 100 Love Sonnets: Cien sonetos de amor (Texas Pan American Series) (English and Spanish Edition) (Paperback)
Do NOT buy this book under the pretense that it is a decent translation of Neruda's poetry. Few Neruda translators I have come across are good, but Tapscott is absolutely appallingly bad. He mistranslates words ("masquerade" for "mashed" is one notable example), destroys the ordering of words, ignores important grammatical constructions. You're better off buying a Spanish-English dictionary (something I don't think Tapscott ever got around to) and translating yourself. Buy this book only for the Spanish, and to mock the English. If you aren't bilingual, don't buy this book! In possibly one of the most beautiful and erotic poems I know of (that's another thing - Neruda is definitely PG-13), namely Sonnet XII, he uses the non-word "flimmer." Yes, to translate of "a ray of light in the shadow," he says "in shadow, and a flimmer of light."
Tapscott, I believe, thinks he's a better poet than Neruda, which is sad and makes for a terrible translation. If you want a hundred love sonnets by Steven Tapscott, go right ahead. But Neruda can and should be translated at least somewhat literally.
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