3 THINGS ABOUT THIS BOOK1 I went to Pablo Neruda s house once Well, I went to one of his houses He had three of them I was teaching English in Santiago, Chile at the time I went to Neruda s house in Valparaiso, which is a beach town Weirdly enough, I visited on my twentieth birthday, on a lark, because I just happened to be vacationing in a nearby cabin with my host family.The thing that I remember about Pablo Neruda s house is that it s set back in a grove of dark pine trees and that there s sand everywhere The sky was dark that day and it was cold, even though it was in the summer What I remember most about the experience wasn t the house itself, or the tour, or the nationalistic trinkets that vendors were trying to sell, but rather the feeling that the pine trees around the house evoked They were like a dark magic that still sits in my mind six years later Curious Because this is the thing that stands out to me most about Neruda s poetry the magnetic feeling of nature The dirt and the flesh and the elements and the cold, wet, hot, dry His poetry is so sensual, so primal, so tied to the earth I know I sound like a hippie, but its true When I look at my journal entries from this period in my life they re full of this sort of talk I wrote about stars and cloud formations and the consistency of mud and the shape of a cheekbone Southern Chile does this to you The land casts a spell on you Neruda put this spell into wordsWho writes your name in letters of smoke among the stars of the south2 I read Twenty Love Poems about five years ago, but I thought it was corny at the time The edition I read had all these terrible erotic etchings in it I hate that I almost threw up I don t believe in illustration much, because it insults the reader s imagination Especially illustration in poetry, a genre which usually uses abstract images.This time when I read Twenty Love Poems I read it slowly And it reminded me of southern Chile It reminded me of gloomy mountains, and the beauty of the rivers and clouds and the darkness of the ocean It reminded me of that period of time, when I turned twenty, right before my life changed in many ways This time when I read Twenty Love Poems it meant something to me, because now I have been in love I have been in love and have experienced all of the sorrows and thrills of love Mostly sorrows But the hope of future thrills.3 I found a musty Time Life book about South America at a thrift store near my house In the book there is a photograph of Mr Neruda seated at a wooden desk at his house in Valparaiso He is wearing a sweater and staring out the window He has a pen and ink in front of him and he is holding his head as though he s deep in thought or distressed Or both I have hung this picture up in my apartment It makes me want to write It makes me remember all of the dark clouds It makes me remember thatlove is so short, forgetting is so long I do not love you except because I love you I go from loving to not loving you,From waiting to not waiting for youMy heart moves from cold to fire.I love you only because it s you the one I love I hate you deeply, and hating youBend to you, and the measure of my changing love for youIs that I do not see you but love you blindly.Maybe January light will consumeMy heart with its cruelRay, stealing my key to true calm.In this part of the story I am the one whoDies, the only one, and I will die of love because I love you,Because I love you, Love, in fire and blood.worthy book for all the tragic romantikus outthere P Sensual poetic beauty, with a lingering sadness, this collection of poems written when Chilean Neruda was only 19 is a remarkable feat, but was not received well for the intense and sexual content, this time being 1924 I can understand why, however, there is no explicit text it sto do with imagery using the surrounding environment, charting oceanic movements of passion along with the changing weather, to tell of youthful love I have gone marking the atlas of your body with crosses of fire My mouth went across a spider, trying to hide In you, behind you, timid, driven by thirst Becoming Neruda s best loved work selling two million copies by the 1960s Why the imagery he conjures up is simply breathtaking but also painfully sad On all sides I see your waist of fog, and your silence hunts down my afflicted hours my kisses anchor, and my moist desire nests in you with your arms of transparent stone As irresistible as the sea, love is engulfing You swallowed everything, like distance In you everything sank , but also departs as mysteriously as it arrived, leaving the poet s heart a pit of debris, fierce cave of the shipwrecked In terms of the intensity of romance and the tenderness of love, this collection encapsulates so much, each piece stands alone, but always remains close to the others Of the 20 poems on offer, not all made sense to me on first reading, but at only 70 pages in length, I will certainly be re visiting in time And then there s the seething Song of Despair , a breakup song if I ever heard one, this for me was the highlight, words of such searing torment that were expressed with a heartbroken urgency At such a young age, Neruda paints a mature picture of the abstract representations of life To the contrary, the poems represent an open curiosity for different dimensions of life like sexuality, solitude, melancholy, and loss Also, he does not idealize beauty and love, making his poetry farauthentically realistic Nature is a constant presence throughout, with stars, rivers, wind, sky and sea reappearing in different contexts, lovers become nature itself You can truly feel that each poem is reaching out to the other, sharing the same pleasure and plight.Highly recommended 5 5 Stephen Dobyns, in his forward to this edition, tells of what occurred at a poetry event in Venezuela, sometime in the 60 s After Chilean poet Pablo Neruda concluded his prepared reading, he opened himself up to requests The first request, from a member of this audience of six hundred, was for poem 20 from this book Tonight I could write the saddest lines When Neruda apologized, saying he had neglected to bring that particular poem, four hundred people stood up and recited the poem to him For a man like me from the United States, such a story sounds almost fantastic, but then it is hard for a citizen of the good ol USA to imagine what its like to live in a country with such a passion for beautiful verse But then, Spanish speakers do love their poetry, and this little book is one of the most popular of all time Since Neruda published it in 1924 when he was nineteen , it has sold over 20 million copies This book is justly famous for its eroticism, but it should be praised for the richness of its natural images too The images of trees, streams, and animals of all kinds never seem forced or automatic, but rather seem to be part of an ancient and effortless vocabulary, as if either Nature herself had written these passionate lines, or she were the lover to be praised.This translation by W.S Merwin a distinquished poet in his own right is the best known English version It is simple, eloquent, and natural as any good translation of this book must be.I love Tonight I could write the saddest lines, but I won t reproduce it here It is rather long, and, besides, it is the best known poem from the book Instead, I ll share with you two of its shorter poems that I like almost as much III AH VASTNESS OF PINESAh vastness of pines, murmur of waves breakingslow play of lights, solitary bell,twilight falling in your eyes, toy doll,earth shell, in whom the earth sings In you the rivers sing and my soul flees in themas you desire, and you send it where you will.Aim my road on your bow of hopeand in a frenzy I will free my flock of arrowsOn all sides I see your waist of fog,and your silence hunts down my afflicted hours my kisses anchor, and my moist desire nestsIn you with your arms of transparent stone.Ah your mysterious voice that love tolls and darkensin the resonant and dying evening Thus in deep hours have I seen, over the fields,the ears of wheat tolling in the mouth of the wind.X WE HAVE LOST EVENWe have lost even this twilightNo one saw us this evening hand in handwhiole the blue night dropped on the world.I have seen from my windowthe fiesta of sunset in the distant mountain tops.Sometimes a piece of sunburned like a coin between my hands.I remembered you with my soul clenchedin that sadness of mine that you know.Where were you then Who else was there Saying what Why will the whole of love come on my suddenlywhen I am sad and feel you are far away The book fell that is always turned at twilightand my cape rolled like a hurt dog at my feet.Always, always you recede through the eveningstowards where the twilight goes erasing statues. Tempting as it may appear to wrap the poetic pearls from this collection of Neruda s heartbeats into a warm shawl of erotic wool, do resist it and pause These loquacious verses that assemble at the nape of a lover or ripple playfully across the soft mountains of a beloved s waist, magnify when viewed through the dual lenses ofnightandwaterI have said that you sang in the windlike pines and like masts.Like them you are tall and taciturn,and you are sad, all at once, like a voyage.You gather things to you like an old road.You are peopled with echoes and nostalgic voices.I awoke and at times birds fled and migratedthat had been sleeping in your soul. Throughout this collection, there are elements that sprout from these two shores, taking their own boundless attire once left to the ocean of the author s imagination I found it interesting to note that Neruda wrote these poems when he was just 19, implying the failures of his political aspirations and love relationships, besides his daughter s premature death were still far away Despite none of the later years blackness charring his soul, his propensity to hinge his ode on night and water mirrors a certain yearning that isn t a slave of reciprocity or longevity Like the night and the nocturnal swagger, arousal is a reality and yet a mirage, something that will come in certainty but will be short lived Like the adaptability and slightness of water, love can superimpose rebuttals and tide over long leaps of unrequited love to reach a state where it will be nothing but itself, complete and calm Neruda s poems personify a charming surrender that fortifies the vulnerability of new love and removes the shame out of the advances that are nothing but a chime before the musicIn the moist night my garment of kisses tremblescharged to insanity with electric currents,heroically divided into dreamsand intoxicating roses practicing on meHis hero gets high on the flowers and seasons, on the days and the night, on proximity and distance, on silence and chatter his hero is the quintessential lover who refuses to let the flame of his emotion die, shielding it with verses after verses of untamable urgency And with the final poem, one can almost imagine him slumping to the ground, dropping his gaze from his object of love and yet, not allowing the humming of his heart to lay stillCemetery of kisses, there is still fire in your tombs,still the fruited boughs burn, pecked at by birds How beautifully fragile we are, that so many things take but a moment to alter who we are, for forever We are all, just an unforeseen encounter, an unexpected phone call, a diagnosis, a newly found love, or a broken heart away from becoming a completely different person Our hearts betray us to the places we never thought be visiting, our reasons fail us to the most uninvited chasms we surrender ourselves into, knowingly Our souls ripped open and raw, our hearts on display, Love leaves vulnerable at places, we never thought be touched Neruda, explores love in many forms and stages He writes about love that have been lost, love that replace solitude, and love that haunt lovers forever At last, in the Song of Despair he encapsulates many of the concerns established through the sequence and offers a heightened emotional culmination It is the hour of departure Oh abandoned one In you the wars and the flights accumulated.From you the wings of the song bird rose.You swallowed everything, like distance.Like the sea, like times In you everything sank Love in Nerudian realms starts as the most intense of passions, the yet alone lover hastens to explore every pore, he aches to become one with the beloved, there s nothing else but the yearning to be close to the other, the presence that is felt through a hand held, a voice heard, or a smile seen, leaves him battered with desire, as souls know no calendar, nor do they understand the time or distance, they strive to collide, to become one, even for a moment, that lives for eternity. I was alone like a tunnel The birds fled from me,and night swamped me with its crushing invasion.To survive myself I forged you like a weapon,like an arrow in my bow, a stone in my sling.But the hour of vengeance falls, and I love you.Body of skin, of moss, of eager and firm milk.Oh the goblets of the breast Oh the eyes of absence Oh the roses of the pubis Oh your voice, slow and sad Lover is agitated to the point of uncertainty, the point where, we no longer are reader, but exchange roles, as if words are given to the choking thoughts we ve long been weaving inside us, when I was reading them, I was filled with such longing and my heart sighed like it was in despair even when it wasn t, or it truly was I like for you to be still, and you seem far away.It souds as though you were lamenting, a butterfly cooing like a dove.And you hear me from far away, and my voice does not reach you Let me come to be still in your silence.And let me talk to you with your silencethat is bright as a lamp, simple as a ring.You are like the night, with its stillness and constellations.Your silence is that of a star, as remote and candid.I like for you to be still it is as though you were absent,distant and full of sorrow as though you had died.One word then, one smile, is enough.And I am happy, happy that it s not true.Sensual Passion thaws into melancholy and melancholy weds despair, and we sense the tone of lover vicissitudes when faced with departure How terrible and brief was my desire of you How difficult and drunken, how tensed and avid.Cemetery of kisses, there is still fire in your tombs,still the fruited boughs burn, pecked at by birds.Oh the bitten mouth, oh the kissed limbs,oh the hungering teeth, oh the entwined bodies.Oh the mad coupling of hope and forcein which we merged and despaired.And the tenderness, light as water and as flour.And the word scarcely begun on the lips.This was my destiny and in it was the voyage of my longing,and in it my longing fell, in you everything sank I no longer love her, that s certain, but maybe I love her Love is so short, forgetting is so long. Pablo NerudaNeruda was accomplished in a variety of styles ranging from erotically charged love poems like his collection Twenty Poems of Love and a Song of Despair, surrealist poems, historical epics, and overtly political manifestos Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair is an amazing collection of poetry His words caress the senses imagery so delicious and fulfilling you can not only see it but smell and taste and feel it, this is a great collection of passionate poetic imagery with a tinge of sadness but, sadly though, it was scandalized due to its sexual content which shows limited understanding of human beings in general.Pablo Neruda brings love and rebellion to mind as soon as you think about him, he is considered to be synonym of love and strong emotions Though I m not a great fan of love poetry I may have some preconceived notions however I was spellbound and taken aback with pleasant surprise when I read Neruda Time stops and modern life, with all its hustle and bustle, disappears The weary reader, beaten to death by the speed at which today s life is going, will be transported to a differently paced world where time is not dictated by the rules of the clock but instead by the cadence of Neruda s poetry The city disappears and is replaced by mountains the honking of cars is replaced by the singing of birds and the indifference and cynicism that you feel will be replaced by a sense of longing Such are the power of Neruda s words This is the world created by poetic artistry of NerudaHere I Love You Here I love you and the horizon hides you in vain.I love you still among these cold things.Sometimes my kisses go on those heavy vesselsthat cross the sea towards no arrival.I see myself forgotten like those old anchors.The piers sadden when afternoon moors there.My life grows tired, hungry to no purpose.I love what I do not have You are so far.My loathing wrestles with the slow twilights.But night comes and starts to sing to me,The moon turns its clockwork dreamI like For You To Be Still I like for you to be still it is as though you were absent,and you hear me from far away and my voice does not touch you.It seems as though your eyes had flown awayand it seems that a kiss had sealed your mouth.Neruda s ballads exemplify an enchanting surrender that invigorates the helplessness of new love and evacuates the disgrace out of the advances that are only a toll before the music Love as we know it is a dangerous passion, it makes human beings vulnerable to be deceived, it brings with it anguish which keeps on haunting them till eternity, however some of the passions may not be as demanding as Neruda so aptly congeals the parts of nature with that of a human body But even that innocuous seeming passion brings the feeling of despair, for these parts of nature reminds one of one s lover and the vulnerability associated with love encircles the personSo That You Will Hear me The wind of anguish still hauls on them as usual.Sometimes hurricanes of dreams still knock them over.You listen to other voices in my painful voice.Lament of old mouths, blood of old supplications.Love me, companion Don t forsake me Follow me.Follow me, companion, on this wave of anguishEvery Day You Play Every day you play with the light of the universe.Subtle visitor, you arrive in the flower and the water,You arethan this white head that I hold tightlyas a cluster of fruit, every day, between my handsThe tone in these ballads is steady, through these poems you can feel that these lyrics are addressing each other, having a similar anguish and joy Be that as it may, in The Song of Despair there is an obvious change in the tone, the speaker is edgy as the memory of a sweetheart frequents him The symbolism in these ballads is of wreck and misfortune pit of garbage, furious give in of the shipwreck and substance He likewise rehashes the line In you everything six times and each time its significance changes as the ballad develops in passionate power and agony Additionally this reiteration gives the sonnet a melodic quality that relates with his want to title the ballad a songA Song of Despair The memory of you emerges from the night around me.The river mingles its stubborn lament with the sea.Deserted like the wharves at dawn.It is the hour of departure, oh deserted one..It is the hour of departure, the hard cold hourwhich night fastens to all the timetables.The rustling belt of the sea girdles the shore.Cold stars heave up, black birds migrate.Deserted like the wharves at dawn.Only the tremulous shadow twists in my hands.Oh farther than everything Oh farther than everything.It is the hour of departure Oh abandanoed one It may look to a casual reader that these poems are about love between man and woman the preconceived notions about the writer would also help but it would be naive of a reader to think so, for the poems magnificently unwraps the anguish, uncertainty, longing and despair which are so elegantly weaved with the disguise of love. When It Appeared In , This Work Launched Into The International Spotlight A Young And Unknown Poet Whose Writings Would Ignite A Generation W S Merwin S Incomparable Translation Faces The Original Spanish Text Now In A Black Spine Classics Edition With An Introduction By Cristina Garcia, This Book Stands As An Essential Collection That Continues To Inspire Lovers And Poets Around The WorldThe Most Popular Work By Chile S Nobel Prize Winning Poet, And The Subject Of Pablo Larra N S Acclaimed Feature Film Neruda Starring Gael Garc A Bernal Note on edit This is not a review These are peals of pleasure of a man drunk on Neruda wine, blurting out extempore, when he finished reading this poetry collection Pablo Neruda the name evokes romance and revolution in my consciousness, a riot of metaphors impregnated with sui generis imagery, a dark and intense celebration of love and beauty, a flood of high emotions that assails my senses and then dulls them, such that in that state of mind I m receptive to nothing in the world except Neruda s poetry Everything else blacks out and I m transported to a world I have never seen before and it s beautiful, it is magnificent, it is dancing with the joy of love I had never desired to learn Spanish, but after reading Neruda I wished I could find a way to experience him in the original, just as I wish I could improve my Persian to read Hafez and Rumi without the medium of translation I really don t know how much of Neruda s Spanish is lost in translation, but whatever that has come down to us in English isthan sufficient to adore him.There is no one who so brilliantly marries nature s metaphors of earth, sea, wind, trees, moon, stars with the enchanting anatomy of the beloved Every line testifies to Neruda s unique way of perceiving nature he likens the beloved to nature, his beloved becomes nature It is through meditations on the vast agricultural richness of his land that he finds the beloved, in the form of liberty, or in shape of an elusive woman, sometimes as an inextricable amalgamation of the two They are inseparable.It is hard to make selections from this book every poem is a work of wonder Instead of copying many full length poems, I am sampling some lines to show the luxuriant quality of imagery and the thunderous motion of his poems, the finesse of his thought, and the intensity of his style Below are some of my favourite, quotable lines The simple, fast and action packed eroticism of the first lines of the opening poem, Body of a womanBody of a woman, white hills, white thighs,you look like a world, lying in surrender.My rough peasant s body digs in youand makes the son leap from the depth of the earth And see how, later on, from the white hills, white thighs , on which he gambols about with pleasure, she is transformed into a weapon that offers him protection and provides him succor, through a process that remains a mystery to the poet and the readerI was alone like a tunnel The birds fled from me,and night swamped me with its crushing invasion.To survive myself I forged you like a weapon,like an arrow in my bow, a stone in my sling In Almost Out of the Sky we have a cloudless girl , who shines like a clear sky, antithesis of greyness, an omniscient being whose presence is felt everywhere But she is unknown and mysterious she is a question of smoke , that appears and dissolves the next moment, without giving him a moment to regroup perceptions She is as soft and silky as a corn tassel You can appreciate the finesse of this metaphor if you have pressed a corn tassel between your fingers In this poem the beloved is cast into a formidable natural force that envelops and dominates the small and insignificant existence of the lover He is in awe of her This poem is asking to be quoted in full, without omission So here it isAlmost out of the sky, half of the moonanchors between two mountains.Turning, wandering night, the digger of eyes.Let s see how many stars are smashed in the pool.It makes a cross of mourning between my eyes,and runs away.Forge of blue metals, nights of still combats,my heart revolves like a crazy wheel.Girl who have come from so far, been brought from so far,sometimes your glance flashes out under the sky.Rumbling, storm, cyclone of fury,you cross above my heart without stopping.Wind from the tombs carries off, wrecks, scatters yoursleepy root.The big trees on the other side of her, uprooted.But you, cloudless girl, question of smoke, corn tassel.You were what the wind was making with illuminated leaves.Behind the nocturnal mountains, white lily of conflagration,ah, I can say nothing You were made of everything.Longing that sliced my breast into pieces,it is time to take another road, on which she does not smile.Storm that buried the bells, muddy swirl of torments,why touch her now, why make her sad.Oh to follow the road that leads away from everything,without anguish, death, winter waiting along itwith their eyes open through the dew From Every day you play, Neruda finds the beloved in the most unlikely places Holding a cluster of fruit is like holding beloved s headEvery day you play with the light of the universe.Subtle visitor, you arrive in the flower and the water.You arethan this white head that I hold tightlyas a cluster of fruit, every day, between my hands.You are like nobody since I love you.Let me spread you out among yellow garlands.Who writes your name in letters of smoke among the starsof the south Oh let me remember you as you were before you existed.Suddenly the wind howls and bangs at my shut window.The sky is a net crammed with shadowy fish.Here all the winds let go sooner or later, all of them.The rain takes off her clothes And further onYou are here Oh, you do not run away.You will answer me to the last cry.Cling to me as though you were frightened.Even so, at one time a strange shadow ran through your eyes.How you must have suffered getting accustomed to me,my savage, solitary soul, my name that sends them all running.So many times we have seen the morning star burn, kissing our eyes,and over our heads the grey light unwind in turning fans Neruda ends the poem with a striking imageI wantto do with you what spring does with the cherry treesOriginally posted 30 12 14 Veinte poemas de amor y una canci n desesperada Twenty love poems and a song of despair, Pablo Neruda Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair, is a collection of romantic poems, by the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, first published in 1924 by Editorial Nascimento of Santiago, when Neruda was 19 It was Neruda s second published work, after Twilight 1923 and made his name as a poet Twenty love poems and a song of despair was controversial for its eroticism, especially considering its author s very young age Over the decades, Twenty poems has become Neruda s best known work, and has soldthan 20 million copies Saddest poemI can write the saddest poem of all tonight Write, for instance The night is full of stars,and the stars, blue, shiver in the distance The night wind whirls in the sky and sings I can write the saddest poem of all tonight.I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too On nights like this, I held her in my arms.I kissed her so many times under the infinite sky She loved me, sometimes I loved her.How could I not have loved her large, still eyes I can write the saddest poem of all tonight.To think I don t have her To feel that I ve lost her To hear the immense night,immense without her.And the poem falls to the soul as dew to grass What does it matter that my love couldn t keep her.The night is full of stars and she is not with me That s all Far away, someone sings Far away.My soul is lost without her As if to bring her near, my eyes search for her.My heart searches for her and she is not with me The same night that whitens the same trees.We, we who were, we are the same no longer I no longer love her, true, but how much I loved her.My voice searched the wind to touch her ear Someone else s She will be someone else s As she oncebelonged to my kisses.Her voice, her light body Her infinite eyes I no longer love her, true, but perhaps I love her.Love is so short and oblivion so long Because on nights like this I held her in my arms,my soul is lost without her Although this may be the last pain she causes me,and this may be the last poem I write for her Pablo Neruda 1974 1351 85 20 1352 71 1355 1397 92 9786008942597.
Pablo Neruda was the pen name and, later, legal name of the Chilean writer and politician Neftal Ricardo Reyes Basoalto Neruda assumed his pen name as a teenager, partly because it was in vogue, partly to hide his poetry from his father, a rigid man who wanted his son to have a practical occupation Neruda s pen name was derived from Czech writer and poet Jan Neruda Pablo is thought to be fro
- 70 pages
- Veinte poemas de amor y una canción desesperada
- Pablo Neruda
- 27 November 2018 Pablo Neruda