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Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair: Dual-Language Edition (Penguin Classics) (Spanish Edition) (Spanish) Paperback – December 26, 2006


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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) + Love Poems (New Directions Paperbook)
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Product Details

  • Series: Penguin Classics
  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics (December 26, 2006)
  • Language: Spanish
  • ISBN-10: 0143039962
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143039969
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 5.6 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,143 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Neftali Ricardo Reyes, whose pseudonym was to be Pablo Neruda, was born in Parral, Chile, in 1904. He grew up in the pioneer town of Temuco, briefly encountering Gabriela Mistral, who taught there for a time. In 1920 he went to Santiago to study, and the following year published his first collection of poetry, La Cancion de la Fiesta. A second collection, Crepusculario, brought him critical recognition; and in 1924 the hugely successful Veinte Poemas de Amor y una Cancion Desesperada appeared. From 1927 to 1943, Neruda lived abroad, serving as a diplomat in Rangoon, Colombo, Batavia, Singapore, Buenos Aires, Barcelona, Madrid, Paris, and Mexico City. This is the period that saw the publication of the first two volumes of his celebrated Residencia en la Tierra. He joined the Communist Party of Chile after World War II, was prosecuted as a subversive, and began an exile that took him to Russia, Eastern Europe, and China. Already the most renowned Latin American poet of his time, he returned to Chile in 1952. He died there in 1973, having just seen the fourth edition of his Obras Completas through the press. In receiving the Nobel Prize in 1971, he had said that the poet must achieve a balance "between solitude and solidarity, between feeling and action, between the intimacy of one's self, the intimacy of mankind, and the relevation of nature."
W.S. Merwin has published many highly regarded books of poems, for which he has received a number of distinguished awards—the Pulitzer Prize, Bollingen Award, Fellowship of the Academy of American Poets and the Governor's Award for Literature of the state of Hawaii among them. He has translated widely from many languages, and his versions of classics such as The Poem of the Cid and The Song of Roland are standards.

Cristina García is the author of Dreaming in Cuban, which was nominated for a National Book Award.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

The Morning is Full

The morning is full of storm
in the heart of summer.

The clouds travel like white handkerchiefs of good-bye,
the wind, traveling, waving them in its hands.

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.

Wind that bears off the dead leaves with a quick raid
and deflects the pulsing arrows of the birds.

Wind that topples her in a wave without spray
and substance without weight, and leaning fires.

Her mass of kisses breaks and sinks,
assailed in the door of the summer's wind.


Es La Mañana Llena

Es la mañana lleno de tempestad
en el corazón del verano.

Como pañuelos blancos de adiós las nubes,
el viento las sacude con sus viajeras manos.

Innumerable el corazón del viento
latiendo sobre nuestro silencio enamorado.

Zumbando entre los árboles, orquestal y divino,
como una lengua llena de guerras y de cantos.

Viento que lleva rápido robo la hojarasca
y desvia las flechas latientes de los parajos.

Viento que le derriba en ola sin espuma
y sustancia sin peso, y fuegos inclinados.

Se rompe y se submerge su volumen de besos
combatido en la puerta del viento del verano.


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.

Customer Reviews

One of the best book of love poems ever written.
Miguel Durá
Being bi-lingual I can tell you that the english translations stay true to the feeling of the original spanish translations, the translater did a good job.
BigFrankNYC1
His style of poetry is reminiscent of Whitman, in that both display a great love for nature and the beauty that exists amongst it.
Dorian Smith

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

69 of 71 people found the following review helpful By NotATameLion on June 7, 2002
Format: Paperback
I am a newcomer to the poetry of Pablo Neruda. "Twenty Poems and a Song of Despair" is simply one of the best volumes of poetry I have ever read. What a vast horizon opened up to me when I picked up this book! Rarely have I encountered a poet that so palpably evokes longing. Few other poets have Neruda's ability to weave images. These poems burrow into the heart.
My Spanish is not what it should be, but I was able to read most of the poetry here in the original. For those who know no Spanish, do not be deterred. This volume is the work of not just one but two masterful poets. Merwin's translations are amazing and wholly recommendable. Striking images and a yearning spirit fill the English translations as well as Neruda's originals.
I was also caught off guard by poem XVI. I was reading along, thinking how I had not read poetry this full of longing and desire since I last read Tagore's "Gitanjali" ..., when lo and behold, Poem XVI is a Spanish paraphrase of a Tagore poem...small world.
Neruda's poems are of filled with a powerful Eros. Yet, to me, they fall a little short in comparison to those of Tagore (whose love is a spiritual longing). However, the comparison is clearly between two giants of the art.
I give "Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair" a strong recommendation.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By G. Wells on July 29, 2004
Format: Paperback
A beautiful gift for a lover. Perfect Valentine's Day gift or some other romantic moment. Draw a bath for them, light a candle, pour some wine, and sit and read them some of these often torrid poems. You will thank me later! MUCH later!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Melanie Cook on July 26, 2004
Format: Paperback
His first book may well be his very best. I believe he was only 19 when he wrote these poems. Each one is more moving than the last. Body of a Woman is amazing. Anyone who deems their self a true romantic must own this book...read it aloud to someone you love...or to someone you want to love.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Cherilyn Ferroggiaro on August 15, 2006
Format: Paperback
In this duel language edition, the voice is soft, sincere, and refreshing. His language borders on a passion that seems to rouse the senses like skydiving, or waiting for first rain. I recommend this book and all his books to the poetry reader.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By F. Graham on April 6, 2006
Format: Paperback
perhaps this is the most romantic and most beautiful book of love poems ever written. every word, every stanza is so easily read, so quickly understood, like an arrow to the heard. give this gift to your lover and they will never forget it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By JOHN E KRUSE III on July 14, 2004
Format: Paperback
If you have ever wanted to memorize love poems to recite to your beloved this is the book. No other poet so beautifully describes a woman's body or the complexities involved with a pair of lover's relationship.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Alejandra on October 29, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is the most romantic book of poetry I have ever read. I was born in Chile only a couple of hours away from Neruda's hometown, so I was exposed to his poetry very early in life, I am not a big fan of poetry, but Neruda puts it so nicely and easy to understand and feel. I was so glad to find this spanish/english version so I could share it with my husband and he loved it as well, it was a great anniversary present for him, he loved it. I strongly recommend this book and all his books...
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Tere on September 6, 2000
Format: Paperback
Other Neruda fans and poetry critics claim that his later works are his best, but I disagree. Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair was Neruda's first published book, done so when he was in his twenties. I think that's what makes this such a great book -- when you couple Neruda's incredible talent with the passion of youth, you get an incredible piece of literature. This is great romantic poetry, full of erotic passion and longing. Neruda knew how to use words to their maximum effect, and his wonderful, innovative use of imagery does what I feel poetry should do: it makes the reader think.
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