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4.7 out of 5 stars
Love Poems (New Directions Paperbook)
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95 of 105 people found the following review helpful
on February 6, 2008
Format: Paperback
James Laughlin must be turning in his grave. New Directions, one of the greatest presses in 20th Century literary history, has sunk to the wrong directions now in the 21st: they are letting marketing triumph over literary ethics and literature itself. Neruda never wrote a book named "Love Poems", but as a slick marketing trick they've actually had the gall to rename the title of the book from its original, The Captain's Verses: Love Poems (New Directions Books)--which they themselves still publish! But I guess that doesn't sell as easily on Valentine's Day. Yes, it has all the same poems of the original and the book, itself, is (in my opinion) to some degrees a good, though small book, important in Neruda's oeuvre but honestly only containing a handful of poems that are on the scale of his other great poems, and it is well translated. But to be so deceptive and re-title it as a marketing gimmick? They simply don't have the right to change the title. It's unethical. I'm writing this because I feel this is a literary crime, and to stress that if one wants to have the actual poems included in this book, buy them--from the same publisher--under it's real title, The Captain's Verses, the one Neruda titled.

I returned this book to Amazon after I found out what was underneath the false cover.

New Directions says in this book that"in later editions, these verses became the most celebrated of the Noble Prize winner's oeuvre" In later editions? Neruda didn't write more than one edition, and ND again plays tricks saying that it "collects Neruda's most passionate verses." It collects some of them, but with The Captain's Verses there's a bunch of mediocre poems. Neruda had a high batting average, but not every poem he wrote was outstanding, and it wasn't all that great on this book.

Frankly, I'm peeved at ND for this gimmickry. The great press under Laughlin that took risks and brought us William Carlos Williams, Herman Hesse's Siddhartha, and Lawrence Ferlinghetti-- you want a vanguard press that would never succumb to commercialism over the inherent principles of literature-- Ferlinghetti's City Lights-- If you want Neruda's love poetry, check out Ferlinghetti's The Essential Neruda: Selected Poems-- it truly is the essence of Pablo, with some of his best love poems. Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair: Dual Language Edition (Penguin Classics)is of course one of poetry's great classics, but it only represents the voice of Neruda in his twenties, without the broad scope and some of his best love lyrics throughout one of the most prolific careers in the history of modern poetry. 100 Love Sonnets: Cien sonetos de amor (Texas Pan American Series) has some great Neruda love poems, but the majority, truly, aren't so great. And personally, along with others I feel that much of the inherent power of Neruda's poems in this book are lost in the flat translations of this edition.

Again, if you do want The Captain's Verses, show New Directions that you can't judge--or change, for marketing reasons--a book by its cover, and get the original, The Captain's Verses
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on June 23, 2010
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I love that this book includes the original Spanish as well as the English translation on pages opposite each other. The book itself is very attractive, and a nice small size which is just right to keep in a purse or take on a trip. Could make a nice gift for a Spanish student, or for anyone overly romantic. The poems are quite passionate and evocative.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 4, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I love that this little book has both the Spanish and English translation of Pablo Neruda's poems. I keep it on my coffee table and everyone that visits loves picking it up and looking through it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 14, 2011
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
It's a good little book that you can carry it everywhere. My girlfriend always has it in her purse and she love the side to side English and Spanish translations. She thinks the poems are romantic and we read a couple every now and then.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 5, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I never get tired of reading this. Whether it is the Spanish or English version of the poem, Neruda takes the reader along all of the emotional responses that being in love entails.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 13, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Neruda says it all so nicely--I wish I knew Spanish so that I could more fully appreciate how he wrote--the translations are fabulous
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on February 5, 2010
Format: Paperback
The other reviews aren't really about the poems in the book, which are great, and I like the design of the cover.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This sweet little book has a gorgeous cover. The poetry is in Spanish and English, which I like very much.
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on April 6, 2014
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I bought this amazing book for my girlfriend for Valentine's. She absolutely loved it, and has told me more than once that I couldn't have picked a better gift for V-day :) We are both pretty romantic and love going the extra mile for each other, and this book, although it's just about $10, has some of the most classic love poems. And well, what do I say about Pablo Neruda. We both love his work, and this short collection of his love poems made us both very happy.

The book was shipped in good condition, and was delivered on time. No complaints there.
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on March 23, 2014
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
The current top review for this book points out that this may not be the best edition to buy. When it comes to the definitive version of the poems, with the title and order preferred by Neruda, I can't argue with his expertise. I will say, however, that this is a beautiful book. It's pocket-sized and the cover is very pretty. Overall, the design is of very high quality and this book would make a perfect romantic gift. The poems themselves are wonderful -- they cover the total roller coaster of love and desire.
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