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Selected Poems

4.39 of 5 stars 4.39  ·  rating details  ·  2,352 ratings  ·  85 reviews
The most comprehensive bilingual collection of the Nobel Prize-winner Neruda, "the greatest poet of the twentieth century in any language"
508 pages
Published (first published June 1961)
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Your Favourite Book of Poetry.
16th out of 327 books — 290 voters
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37th out of 298 books — 102 voters

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Community Reviews

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This book allows you to see how his poems progressed over the years. They begin in 1924 and end in 1967. He selected these poems himself for the book. It shows his voice in everything surronding him. Very rich, colorful and moving!
Sigit Djatmiko
Saya memberi lima bintang untuk puisi-puisi Pablo Neruda. Alasannya sederhana saja. Pertama, sajak Neruda memang indah dan orisinal, bahkan kendati saya hanya bisa membacanya dalam versi terjemahan Inggris. Kedua, saya selalu memberi lima bintang untuk karya-karya yang tak tergantikan, baik karena ia lahir berkat faktor sejarah (yang tak mungkin terulang) maupun karena kekhasan personal penulisnya yg amat menonjol dan orisinal, atau karena keduanya. Kumpulan surat Kartini "Habis Gelap Terbitlah ...more
Portia S
Pablo Neruda, I picked up this because my boyfriend took him as an inspiration :) I respect and like my boyfriend's work a lot, and so I dove right in. However, because people try to copy him all the time, my view was tainted. I could not fully appreciate his work because of all the people who are trying to copy him, oh god, it hurt me. It hurt me because the familiarity of each stanza, the way people scrape up this man's work, it just warped it all. Can you get me? Like you trying to read some ...more
Nothing like a dual language book to give you a sense of the beauty of both English and Spanish. After reading various of his poems there is a line that comes back to me over and over again with a feeling of sweet depression: "Un sabor que tengo en el alma me deprime"
I only wish I knew Spanish, so I could read Neruda poems in their native tongue. For me, I find him such a romantic. His poetry can bring tears, smile, is simply written and profound all at the same time.
Five stars for Neruda's poetry, not for the translation. Maybe I'm too picky, but it just doesn't give me anywhere near the same feeling reading the English translation as reading the original Spanish.
ode to my socks is probably one of the most comforting, wooly poems you will ever read in your life.
Might be the greatest poetry collection I've read. His voice is so genuine and definite and moving.
Michael Strode
"I wrote down five verses:
one green,
one shaped like a breadloaf,
the third like a house going up,
the fourth one, a ring,
the fifth one
small as a lightning flash...

Then came the critics: one deaf,
and one gifted with tongues,
and others and others:
the blind and the hundred-eyed,
the elegant ones
in red pumps and carnations,
others decently clad
like cadavers...
some coiled in the forehead
of Marx or thrashing about in his whiskers;
others were English,
just English..." ~ Excerpt from "Oda a la critica (Ode t
Jim McGarrah
The task of briefly reviewing Neruda’s Selected Poems is a daunting one, similar in effort to climbing an ice sculpture on a hot summer day. You are very liable to end up where you started and all wet besides. The period of his writing that fascinates me personally is what might be termed his “social action” period, for want of a better phrase. It was a time stimulated and motivated by the Spanish Civil war. Where his beautiful lyric poetry may have been isolated, even estranged from humanity pr ...more
Michael Davis
I love a few of Neruda's poems -- 'Leaning into the Afternoons', 'Tonight I Can Write the Saddest Lines', and 'Because Love Battles' -- for their honest sentiment and masterful, not-too-maudlin lyricism.

However, as he achieved notoriety as a sort of official poet of South America, he intentionally simplified his language and, in some ways, made the sentiment in his poetry less complex so as to make it more attainable to "common" audiences. Now he is perhaps the most-read poet in history and als
I finished this a few weeks ago, so admittedly in terms of writing a review, this anthology isn't really as fresh in my mind as I would like it to be.

I have to say that I very much enjoyed this collection of poems. I especially found the bilingual, side-by-side original and translation very helpful in understanding the essence of these poems (to anybody who wants to brush up on their Spanish, this is a great way to do it), as very often some nuances inevitably get lost in translating any piece
Janice Raquela
Ah this one was ''One of a kind'' so much variety
It's like a buffet , you just can't get enough & just when you think it couldn't get any better , he proves me wrong , a very spectacular diverse read.
I wore this book OUT! Was convenient to have the English translation on the facing page in case your vocabulary is lacking. Made it easy to share Neruda with non-Spanish speakers. I can read aloud so people can get the genius of the sounds and the way Neruda makes Spanish words drip down the page. Meanwhile, we can read the translation and get the meaning. Oh Nina entre las Rosas, oh presion de Palomas, oh presidio de peces y Rosales, tu alma es una botella Llena de sal sedienta, y una campana L ...more
Ben Hinkle
I wish that aliens had made contact with humanity during his lifetime, because Neruda deserved to be humanity's poet laureate.
this is a wonderful collection of poems from one of my favorite poets. Neruda is one of the most romantic, real poets i've read.
Adrienne Stapleton
Love Neruda's adoration of the sea and women. You can hear the stillness and the grand sadness of waves in every poem. Here is a bit from his poem 20:

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.

Write for example, 'The night is shattered
and the blue stars shiver in the distance.'

The night wind revolves in the sky and sings.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.

Through nights like this one I held her in my arms.
I kissed her again and again under the endless sk
The poetry of's like music to me, so hard to describe it otherwise. A poem of his is like a favorite song i have to play it in repeat.
for example, the love poem 'every day you play'
'every day you play with the light of the universe
subtle visitor you arrive in the flower and the water
you are more than this white head that I hold tightly
as a bunch of flowers every day, between my hands' OR
'My words rained over you, stroking you
A long time I have loved the sunned mother-of-pearl of your
This Chilean poet is in my top 3. Even the translations of his Spanish poems are beautiful.
Amazing! I revisit this book often and as my Spanish improves, so does my understanding that Neruda's work is far better in his native language. Translations can be debated and makes this book all that much more fascinating to this Spanish learner.
Starr Bruner
The most beautiful, lyrical, sensual, intimate poetry in the world. You MUST read.
These poems are like cherry-chocolate liqueurs. There is the sexy dark chocolate, but then there is the cloying sugary cherry core. Not for everyone. Luckily, this collection also has the occasional heady hit of liqueur that will catch the reader unawares. There is a dreamlike, sensual quality to these poems that will transport and seduce the imagination.
Also delightful is the bilingual aspect and the fact that Neruda himself oversaw the collection of these chronologically disparate works.
A th
Aug 27, 2008 Sarah rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who enjoy a mixed range of poems.
Recommended to Sarah by: School.
I have mixed feelings about the poetry of Pablo Neruda. Some of hi poetry i highly enjoy, such as his Odes (especially the one about the tomato). I also like his "question" poems, though these are not in the book of selected poems. The poems of his that i do not like are his love poems, i think they are too long, he could have made them much shorter and they would have been just as good if not better. In general I think Neruda wrote too much, i think if he had written half of what he did he woul ...more
Daniel Simmons
Pure reading bliss. (Even more so when reading it in Chile.)
Rob Manwaring
Who reads poetry anymore...?

I saw this on the shelf of the local library whilst Tilly collected her usual rag bag collection of ales for 6 year olds, and was struck by the fact I'd never read any Neruda before. Spanish on the left hand side, English translation on the right. Am dipping in and out, and started with his breakthrough love poems. Some lines full of wonderment, and of course, a little bit saucy, too.
I didn't read all of them, but I read a good sampling from beginning to end. Glancing from the English to the Spanish, I didn't particularly like some of the translations--particularly, it seemed, those by Anthony Kerrigan. I also found myself enjoying his later work much more than the earlier, more erotic and abstract poems. An inspiring man and a master of metaphor and rhythm.
Jen Helfand
what a journey it's been!

from la barcarola termina (the final poem):
amor mio, la noche llego galopando sobre las extensiones del mundo.
amor mio, la noche borra el signo del mar y la nave resbala y reposa.

my love, night came down, galloping over the spread of the world.
my love, night erasees all trace of the sea, the ship heels, is at rest.
This is crap. And I'm not ashamed to say it. Maybe it's OK in Spanish, but drivelling love poems are definitely not my style. Highly disrecommended. However, Memoirs, by the same author, loaned to me by friend and writer Ian Rudkin, is an absolute gem. It poses as an autobiography but is a diamond-glittering poem in itself.
"How, with my soul and my tears,
I have cherished your obstinate soil, your destitute bread
and your peoples, how, in the deepest
recess of my being, the flower of our villages,
furrowed, immobile in time, lives for me, lost,
with your flinty savannas
magnified under the moon and the eons,
gorged by a fatuous god."
Neruda's use of imagery is the keystone of his poetry, fluent and peopled with myriad images from nature and the world around. Definitely one of the top poets of the world. Sometimes I felt it lacked content or a point at the expense of this but if you like poetry it's a must to at least read his best poems.
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Pablo Neruda was the pen name and, later, legal name of the Chilean writer and politician Neftalí 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 ...more
More about Pablo Neruda...
Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair The Poetry of Pablo Neruda 100 Love Sonnets The Essential Neruda: Selected Poems The Captain's Verses (Los versos del capitan) (English and Spanish Edition)

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“Well, now
If little by little you stop loving me
I shall stop loving you
Little by little
If suddenly you forget me
Do not look for me
For I shall already have forgotten you

If you think it long and mad the wind of banners that passes through my life
And you decide to leave me at the shore of the heart where I have roots
That on that day, at that hour, I shall lift my arms
And my roots will set off to seek another land”
“Nobody can claim the name of Pedro,
nobody is Rosa or María,
all of us are dust or sand,
all of us are rain under rain.
They have spoken to me of Venezuelas,
of Chiles and Paraguays;
I have no idea what they are saying.
I know only the skin of the earth
and I know it has no name.”
More quotes…