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Residence on Earth Paperback – July, 2004


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Residence on Earth + Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair: Dual-Language Edition (Penguin Classics) (Spanish Edition) + The Essential Neruda: Selected Poems (Bilingual Edition) (English and Spanish Edition)
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Neruda's greatest work, one of the angriest, most political and timeless works of the last century. -- Ray González, The Bloomsbury Review, September/October 2004

That Pablo Neruda was the greatest poet of the last century is beyond argument in much of South America. -- Carolyn Curiel, New York Times, 6 July 2004

The greatest poet of the twentieth century—in any language. -- Gabriel García Márquez

Language Notes

Text: English, Spanish --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: New Directions Paperbook (Book 992)
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: New Directions; Bilingual edition (July 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811215814
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811215817
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #535,902 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Pablo Neruda is regarded as the greatest Latin American poet of the 20th century. Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1971, his breadth of vision and wide range of themes are extraordinary, and his work continues to inspire new generations of writers.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Yaki78@aol.com on May 15, 1999
Format: Paperback
Neruda delivers an uninhibited glimse at human emotions and panges of life in this collection of poems. Neruda jars the soul by explaining in simple verse, how tragic life can be. The reflections and odes collected in this work are a superb display of the skill Neruda has. Residence on Earth is a compilation of poetry from a mature poet who willfully takes risks, and carries through with beautiful prose. Nerudas candid emotional stylizations convince one of the feeling of being consumed by the poetry itself. Neruda is boundless in structure. The easy style allow for the reader to atempt to understand the abundant imagery and symbolism contained traditionally within Nerudas works. One must read this compilation, as one would consume a fine port wine, or richly decadent chocolate-with trepidation. Time to reflect and savor the splendor of this poet is most definately required.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Eric Bryant on February 19, 2006
Format: Paperback
So many poets explore the conditions of the world, attempting to form them together into a theme or idea. Neruda takes the opposite tack, the course of the true dreamer; he takes themes and ideas and tries to form them together into a real world.

The paradox of Neruda is the earthy quality of so many of his poems combined with the idealistic imagery. Neruda was a common man living the life of a folk hero in his own mind, who by placing that life into poetry became a folk hero of substance. He captured the hearts and minds of an entire generation of Chileans, spanish-speaking peoples, and eventually the world. And for good reason. Neruda believes in the power of words. He is a master of image placed into language, a visionary linguist in every sense.

Unlike so many English and American poets, you don't need to be an expert on Greek mythology or on other poets to understand where Neruda is coming from. This is a poetry of the people, accessible to the many, and yet effective enough that it should melt even the most stodgy teacher of English lit.

The third section, written many years after the first two, explores many political themes, as opposed to the more personal images evoked in the first two sections. It's too bad, as I personally enjoy the first two a little more. But even so, it pointed towards new directions that Neruda would explore in his later, more mature works. Yet maturity or no, this is the Neruda that I found most eminently readable, most capable of evoking a sense of obscure appreciation that I can't quite put my finger on.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful By G. D. Geiss on February 21, 2010
Format: Paperback
I am sure this will be a distinctly minority view, but I would caution the first time, non Spanish speaking reader of Neruda away from this work and this translation.

I find the poems from the first residence here almost impenetrably surrealistic and the translations overly literal in many places. The later poems are awkwardly political, violent, and at times vulgar. There are bright spots such as the Ode to Federico Garcia Lorca, but to my taste, they are few and far between.

I would, instead of this volume, recommend Stephen Mitchell's lovely translations of the later works of Neruda entitled "Full Woman, Fleshly Apple, Hot Moon".

Those of you who are already spitting mad that anyone would dare to find Neruda anything but brilliant need read no further, but for those wondering how I can complain about translations that everyone else praised, I will take some time with one poem to flesh out my position.

The very first poem in the collection is Galope Muerto or Dead Gallop as Mr. Walsh renders it. There's just not space to render both Spanish and English, but I've spent hours with both due to things like the translation of the very first line including the phrase "like seas peopling themselves". Now I don't care if you are a surrealist or something else, that phrase is English drivel. Two lines later we find "the crossed bells crossing," which while not exactly nonsense, does not move the meaning of the poem forward in any accessible way.

Later in the second stanza of the same poem we have "... like the pulley wild within itself,/ those motor wheels in short." Now, this make no earthly sense in English. It also ignores the punctuation of the second line in Spanish that reads " esas ruedas de los motores, en fin.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Steiner VINE VOICE on June 27, 2011
Format: Paperback
This particular collection of Neruda's poetry is an astonishing aesthetic object. Neruda's verse is at once surrealistic and concrete. His explorations of the earth and the tragedies which envelop us resound with incomparable beauty and strength. Here we find a bold assemblage of erotic and tragic images-the surreal joins the ideal in a synthesis of boldly sublime poesy. Neruda's attunement to the feelings of the people is also miraculous; his poetic art is a universal art. An astonishing collection.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is one of the best books in poetry I've ever read. It was a classic since the very moment of its publication in 1933. Perhaps you should know I'm an autodidact reader --as the majority I guess-- and for ten years or more I read hundreds of poetry books, in a closed line that goes from the classics until the present time. My native language is Spanish so is easier to me to read poetry in Spanish. Everybody knows that in being translated poetry loses some elements like the sound, the rhythm and the rhyme. So all we are born in a poetic community and are --in a special sense-- condemned to dwell in it. Translators make good jobs but there is something that cannot be translated. Some says that that something is exactly the poetry.

Having said that, I'm going to talk about Neruda and this wonderful book. It was written when Neruda was in his late twenties, in different locations and inspired by different situations, people, languages and... women. Residence on Earth is a book in which nothing happens. Everything is happening without advancing to any place or any site. That's why Neruda uses the gerund all the time. There is no narrative in the usual sense. So at a first glance the reader (I was twenty six when I read it for the first time) feels very confused. "What's this" is the recurrent question. After reading poetry in the line of the so called Golden Century in the Spanish tradition and since then all the way up to the eighteenth or nineteenth century, you discover that this book is out of place. And then you try to answer the question "What is Neruda doing?"

There is no narration, yes, so the language is the main character here. It doesn't matter who or where this poems were inspired.
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