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The Essential Neruda: Selected Poems (Bilingual Edition) (English and Spanish Edition) Paperback – April 1, 2004
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"What better way to honor one of the world's great poets than with crystalline new translations of 50 of his most enticing poems?" - San Francisco magazine
"What better way to celebrate the hundred years of Neruda's glorious residence on our earth than this selection of crucial works - in both languages! - by one of the greatest poets of all time. A splendid way to begin a love affair with our Pablo or, having already succumbed to his infinite charms, revisit him passionately again and again and yet again." - Ariel Dorfman, Pulitzer-Prize winning author of Death and the Maiden
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The selections of Neruda's works truly do represent the essential poems - especially if you are trying to familiarize yourself with his works.
I cannot recommend this book enough. A must-have for any Neruda enthusiast and for those just getting acquainted.
"On our earth, before writing was invented, before the printing press was invented, poetry flourished. That is why we know that poetry is like bread; it should be shared by all, by scholars and by peasants, by all our vast, incredible, extraordinary family of humanity." Pablo Neruda
I Like You When You're Quiet
I like it when you're quiet. It's as if you weren't here now,
and you heard me from a distance, and my voice
couldn't reach you.
It's as if your eyes had flown away from you, and as if
your mouth were closed because I leaned to kiss you.
Just as all living things are filled with my soul,
you emerge from all living things filled with the soul of
It's as if, a butterfly in dreams, you were my soul,
and as if you were the soul's word, melancholy.
The title of "Essential Neruda" is apt in this collection not just for the beautiful and passionate love poetry that draws us initially to Neruda's works, but the love expanded into all of one's fellow men, especially the poor and working classes, and even those imprisoned. I wish that more poets took up the "Poet's Obligation".
To whomever is not listening to the sea
this Friday morning, to whomever is cooped up
in house or office, factory or woman
or street or mine or harsh prison cell:
to him I come, and, without speaking or looking,
I arrive and open the door of his prison,
and a vibration starts up, vague and insistent,
a great fragment of thunder sets in motion
the rumble of the planet and the foam,
the raucous rivers of the ocean flood,
the star vibrates swiftly in its corona,
and the sea is beating, dying and continuing.
I have used the translation of "United Fruit" in my classes, and I think that one cannot teach the essence of Neruda without works like these. It is a work you will read and revisit again and again.
Anyway, as for the book itself, it is a MUST purchase for all poetry enthusiasts. I have many a poetry collection book with my favorite poems highlighted, but no need to do that here--each one of these selected poems is as beautiful as the one before it. You will not skip a single poem. Each poem is perfectly translated to English alongside its original Spanish version.
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