Cover image for The essential Neruda : selected poems
The essential Neruda : selected poems
Neruda, Pablo, 1904-1973.
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Poems. English & Spanish. Selections
Publication Information:
San Francisco : City Lights Books, [2004]

Physical Description:
xx, 199 pages ; 22 cm
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PQ8097.N4 A235 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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This bilingual collection of Neruda's most essential poems will prove indispensable. Selected by a team of poets and prominent Neruda scholars in both Chile and the U.S., this is a definitive selection that draws from the entire breadth and width of Neruda's various styles and themes. An impressive group of translators that includes Alistair Reid, Stephen Mitchell, Robert Hass, Stephen Kessler and Jack Hirschman, have come together to revisit or completely retranslate the poems; and a handfulof previously untranslated works are included as well. This selection sets the standard for a general, high--quality introduction to Neruda's complete oeuvre.

"The call for a more accessible collection of Neruda's important poems is answered with City Lights' The Essential Neruda, a 200-page edition that offers 50 of Neruda's key poems. The editors and translators know how to extract gold from a lifetime of prolific writing. If you want a handy Neruda companion and don't know where to begin, this is it."--The Bloomsbury Review

" ...The Essential Neruda will prove to be, for most readers, the best introduction to Neruda available in English. In fact, I can think of few other books that have given me so much delight so easily. At only 234 pages (bilingual), it somehow manages to convey the fullness of Neruda's poetic arc: Reading it is like reading the autobiography of a poetic sensibility (granted, the abridged version)."--The Austin Chronicle

"This book is a must-have for any reader interested in a definitive sampling of the most essential poems by one whom many consider one of the best poets of the 20th century."--Mike Nobles,Tulsa World

"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, author ofKonfidenz andThe Nanny and the Iceberg

"If the notion had struck Pablo Neruda, I am quite sure that like Fernando Pessoa and Antonio Machado he would have given birth to what the former called heteronyms. Like Pessoa especially, Neruda can be several poets according to where he is and when and what his mood might be. It is quite fitting therefore that his work in this anthology be shared by various translators, for, ideally, a translator is but another heteronym speaking in a different tongue and at a different time. Neruda is well served here by these other voices of his."--Gregory Rabassa

Pablo Neruda was born in Chile in 1904. He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971.

Author Notes

Pablo Neruda was born Ricardo Eliecer Neftalí Reyes Basoalto in Ferral, Chile on July 12, 1904. In 1923 he sold all of his possessions to finance the publication of his first book, Crepusculario (Twilight), which he published under the pseudonym Pablo Neruda. Veinte Poemas de Amor y una Cancion Desesperada (Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair), which was published the following year, made him a celebrity and allowed him to stop his studies to devote himself to poetry.

His other works include España en el Corazón, Canto General, Las Uvas y el Viento, and Para Nacer He Nacido. He received numerous awards including the World Peace Prize with Paul Robeson and Pablo Picasso in 1950, the Lenin Peace Prize and the Stalin Peace Prize in 1953, and the Nobel Prize for Literature for his poetry in 1971. He died of leukemia on September 23, 1973.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Table of Contents

Lawrence FerlinghettiMark Eisner
Prefacep. xv
Introductionp. xvii
From Veinte poemas de amor y una cancion desesperada (1924)
1. Cuerpo de mujer / Body of womanp. 2
7. Inclinado en las tardes / Inclined in the afternoonsp. 4
15. Me gustas cuando callas / I like you when you're quietp. 6
20. Puedo escribir los versos mas tristes / I can write the saddest versesp. 8
From Residencia en la tierra, I (1933)
Galope muerto / Dead Gallopp. 12
Unidad / Onenessp. 16
Arte poetica / Ars Poeticap. 18
Sistema sombrio / System of Gloomp. 20
El fantasma del buque de carga / The Phantom of the Cargo Shipp. 22
Significa sombras / It Means Shadowsp. 28
From Residencia en la tierra, II (1935)
Solo la muerte / Only Deathp. 32
Barcarola / Barcarolep. 36
Walking around / Walking Aroundp. 42
Oda con un lamento / Ode With a Lamentp. 46
Entrada a la madera / Entrance Into Woodp. 50
Vuelve el otono / Autumn Returnsp. 54
No hay olvido (sonata) / There's No Forgetting (Sonata)p. 58
From Tercera residencia (1947)
Explico algunas cosas / I Explain Some Thingsp. 62
From Canto general (1950)
Alturas de Macchu Picchu / The Heights of Macchu Picchu
I. Del aire al aire / From air to airp. 68
IV. La poderosa muerte / Powerful deathp. 70
VI. Entonces en la escala / And then on the ladderp. 74
VIII. Sube conmigo / Climb up with mep. 78
X. Piedra en la piedra / Stone upon stonep. 84
XI. A traves del confuso esplendor / Down through the blurred splendorp. 88
XII. Sube a nacer conmigo / Rise up and be born with mep. 90
La United Fruit Co. / The United Fruit Co.p. 94
El Fugitivo XII: A todos, a vosotros / To everyone, to youp. 98
El gran oceano / The Great Oceanp. 102
From Los versos del capitan (1952)
El alfarero / The Potterp. 106
From Odas elementales (1954)
Oda a una castana en el suelo / Ode to a Chestnut On the Groundp. 108
Oda al libro (II) / Ode to the Book (II)p. 114
Oda a un reloj en la noche / Ode to a Watch In the Nightp. 122
Oda al vino / Ode to Winep. 128
From Estravagario (1958)
Fabula de la sirena y los borrachos / The Fable of the Mermaid and the Drunkardsp. 134
El gran mantel / The Great Tableclothp. 136
From Cien sonetos de amor (1960)
XII. Plena mujer, manzana carnal / Full woman, carnal applep. 140
XVII. No te amo como si fueras rosa / I don't love you as if you were a rosep. 142
From Plenos poderes (1962)
Deber del poeta / The Poet's Obligationp. 144
La palabra / The wordp. 148
El mar / The Seap. 154
El pueblo / The Peoplep. 156
From Memorial de Isla Negra (1964)
La poesia / Poetryp. 166
Aquellas vidas / Those Livesp. 170
Pleno octubre / October Fullnessp. 174
No hay pura luz / There Is No Clear Lightp. 178
Insomnio / Insomniap. 182
El futuro es espacio / The Future Is Spacep. 184
From El mar y las campanas (posthumous)
Si, camarada, es hora de jardin / Right, comrade, it's the hour of the gardenp. 188
From Jardin de invierno (posthumous)
El egoista / The Egoistp. 192
Jardin de invierno / Winter Gardenp. 196