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Residencia en la tierra

4.41 of 5 stars 4.41  ·  rating details  ·  2,403 ratings  ·  72 reviews
Written in the span of two decades (1925-1945), beginning when Neruda was twenty-one, Residence on Earth was originally published in Spanish in three successive volumes (1933, 1935, 1947), all available in this definitive bilingual edition. Most of these poems were penned when Neruda was a self-exiled diplomat in isolated regions of South Asia. A vortex of time and being, ...more
Paperback, 144 pages
Published June 1st 2004 by Debolsillo (first published 1933)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Missy LaRae
I've read this many times, and every single time I feel like I've found some new gem. What amazes me most about this book is the English translation on one side and the Spanish translation on the other.

I'm a total sucker for emotional, provoking poetry, and this book of poetry was written during a time of exile for Neruda. Neruda has a very intriguing voice, and he puts you RIGHT THERE. One of my favorites.

Slow Lament

"Into the night of the heart
your name drops slowly
and moves in silence and fa
...more
Szplug
For me, Neruda's poetry is nourishment of the richest and most inspired sort - and in Residence on Earth its beautiful, lyrical melodies ring nearly as sublime in Donald Walsh's sterling translations as in the Spanish of the Chilean Master. Off-and-on my favorite collection of Neruda's genius, one that never sits for long on my bookshelves.

The day of the luckless, the pale day peers out
with a chill and piercing smell, with its forces gray,
without rattles, the dawn oozing everywhere:
it is a shipw
...more
Michael Young
Certainly Neruda is one of the greatest poets in any language. This, I believe, is his magnum opus. Really three collections in one, it ranges over a vast terrain of love, endurance, teleology, politics, mourning and renewal. It is clear that the isolation he felt during his time abroad as a diplomat provided him the impetus to dive into primal regions in ways few are ever capable of. Nearly every line is stunning, a surprise that provides not just a source of thought but a new profound experien ...more
Fidias
Nací con impermeable para el verbo Nerudiano. O algo pasa. Y es que no cala, no cala, no cala. Leo palabras, una dispuesta detrás de la otra, y me parece estar mirando una pared, con sus piedras, con su musgo, con su cemento, pero nada más. Pared, pared.

Si solamente me tocaras el corazón,
si solamente pusieras tu boca en mi corazón,
tu fina boca, tus dientes,
si pusieras tu lengua como una flecha roja
allí donde mi corazón polvoriento golpea,
si soplaras en mi corazón, cerca del mar, llorando,
sonaría
...more
El
I have a hard time reviewing poetry as I find poetry more visceral than cerebral, especially when it comes to Pablo Neruda. Even when he discusses his politics, or his environment, his words evoke such emotion in me. His poetry is not just about love for another woman as a lot of poetry does, and occasionally there is the disdainful poem which only illustrates to me his humanity.

Neruda is a poet to be experienced, not taught. Do yourself the favor of reading something by him.
Emily
If I were a translator of poetry, I would constantly be tempted by sin -- the sin of making the poem say what I want it to say and sound how I want it to sound, regardless of what the poet intended, or would have wanted had s/he been writing in English. I often find this temptation rears its ugly head with Neruda in particular. I don't read Spanish, but because I read Latin (or used to) and French, I somehow feel entitled to judge the Neruda translations I read, or at least to get bilingual edit ...more
Tom Steele
This is my first Neruda work that I've read and my first experience with a Latin-speaking poet before. That being said I am sure that there is a lot lost in translation so I know that what I get from these poems isn't all there is to be had, potentially.

Even considering this linquistic handicap I still loved this work. Neruda shows a broad range of emotions and points of view (which is to be expected considering it covers such a large period of time in his life) and I find myself enjoying most
...more
Liam Howley
Alliance (Sonata)

Neither the heart cut by a sliver of glass
in a wasteland of thorns,
nor the atrocious waters seen in the corners
of certain houses, waters like eyelids and eyes,
could hold your waist in my hands
when my heart lifts its oak trees
toward your unbreakable thread of snow.

Night sugar, spirit
of crowns,
redeemed
human blood, your kisses
banish me,
and a surge of water with remnants of the sea
strikes the silences that wait for you
surrounding the worn-out chairs, wearing doors away.

Nights with
...more
Nathan
I've been reading an unusual amount of poetry of late - really just a coincidence, but that has resulted in some interesting juxtapositions. I won't go so far as to say that poetry and prose shouldn't be considered under the same umbrella of literature, but the reader engages with most poetry so differently than most prose. And then I begin to think of the compelling exceptions to that rule, and the duality begins to break down...

There is a list of adjectives and corresponding schools easily app
...more
Alex
Reading this book reminds me of Maurice Merleau-Ponty's description of the phenomenological being as participant in some "primordial faith". If M-P was an aspirant of such a faith, then in Neruda we behold its patron saint of verse.

Images slide across the page, flip on their backs, revealing briefly some tender truths, then right themselves and skitter away into the shadows of dreams. Often they laugh.

The reader finds himself existing on the level of sense and unmediated synchrony. Wafts of mem
...more
Elisabeth
This book is hard to fully get since vanguardists are wonky at best (which I tend to approve) but damn, his background makes me dislike the dude. I spent the whole class on a "what the heck? stop whining!" state of mind.

I'm a subjective person trying to get rid of her emotions so I can be a somewhat of an objective adult here. I can't help but judge him though and I dislike the fact.

His writing may be quite good but his constant whining without taking any action, awful views on life and extreme
...more
Yuval
After finishing 2666 I started reading the books Bolaño loved and thought I'd start with poetry. Having known more about Pablo Neruda than having known his work first-hand, I decided to start with this collection. When asked what his favorite poem by Neruda was, Bolaño said, "almost any in RESIDENCE ON EARTH."

I forget that appreciating poetry in another language is quite different from appreciating prose in another language, and I do feel a barrier to the texts of these poems. What comes across
...more
Carey
One of my favorites poets, along with Octavio Paz, there is a verse in Neruda's poem "Estatuto del Vino (Ordinance of Wine)" from this collection that just draws my mind to the open road every time I read it:

Remembering nights, ships, seed time,
departed friends, circumstances,
bitter hospitals and girls ajar:
remembering a wave slapping a certain rock,
with an adornment of flour and foam,
and the life that one leads in certain countries,
on certain solitary coasts,
a sound of stars in the palm trees,
a
...more
Paolo
Aug 10, 2007 Paolo rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone.
One of the most influential books on my shelf. And a more faithful translation by Walsh to Neruda's Spanish. One thing I can't stand about the Industry of Neruda is how these older white male anglo writers take great liberties in washing over the meaning of the original Spanish. For example, in Merwin's translation of 'The Widower's Tango', he translates 'orinar' as 'making water'. Wtf is that? The speaker is TELLING how he listens to his obsessive lover pee in the night, and 'making water' does ...more
Christina Gouthro


The true testament of a man. How can any single person put that into work?

He shows us his soul, his dirty and sad and terribly beautiful soul, but he shows it to us in the most proper prose.


He shows us the clouds of love,


He shows us the deepest parts of the dirtiest trenches of the wretched war. He keeps the prose.


He finds his way out, and eventually back to his entirety, his love, his true soul mate... his reason for living. His analogies of love and life are what keep our creative minds on
...more
Jessica
Synopsis: Pablo Neruda focuses on his life and describes what it feels like to be alive through his collections of poetry. From love poems to descriptive poems, Neruda’s perception of life is outlined. The individuals that impact one’s life and the emotions that one can hold within are portrayed.

Review: Residence on Earth is an excellent read. Neruda’s poems relate to the mix of emotions a person can experience. The detail and figurative language illustrate Neruda’s thoughts regarding his life,
...more
Lamski Kikita
the rating I gave here is because of the translation, which I found extremely dry. I realize that the English language is sometimes unequipped with words that could really mirror expressions and meanings that exist in other languages, but I just feel like it is more of a translator's problem here. unfortunately this is the only English translation available of this collection. I had to peek at the Spanish side and find the missing melodies and meanings that were lacking in the translation. betwe ...more
Sarah
This book was a re-read for me, but a useful one. The book is divided into three sections, and the poems in them span a rather large section of time. The 3 volumes were published in 1933, 1935, and 1947. While the first two sections are filled with rich, dreamlike language describing love and other daily experiences, the third section is steeped in war, revolution, and the labor struggle. This represents a natural progression in the evolution of the poet's work. Whatever Neruda's purpose, he is ...more
Kameron
there's, of course, a big loss reading this in translation. just this one example:

>> made of fat and skinny, sad and happy pairings <<

>> hechos de gordas y flacas y alegres y tristes parejas <<

there's so much rhythm in the Spanish; none in the English.

but the content is all about a lonely man, who is filled with so much love, so much lust, so much poetry. and he lives alone. and he doesn't see how this is the case.

considered one of the greatest poets of the world, you can
...more
Vogisland
I loved this book until I got to section IV of Third Residence, p. 248, "Spain in Our Hearts". At this point Neruda is overwhelmed by grief over the Spanish civil war and his intricate surrealist imagery gives way to dull political poetry. Section headings: "Spain poor through the fault of the rich", "General Franco in Hell", "The Unions at the Front", "A New Love Song to Stalingrad". Plenty of great stuff before that, though: "Ghost of the Cargo Boat", "El Desenterrado", and others stayed with ...more
Brook Miscoski
Aug 03, 2007 Brook Miscoski rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those interested in poetry.
These poems cover a wide range of human experience, from introspective pieces on loneliness, friendship, fear, etc. to outward-looking social justice works. In the Residences there's alot to pick from, some losers, mostly great.

The poems translate well into English, particularly since Neruda was usually involved in the translation, but you'll miss out on the sounds if you can't at least sound out the Spanish text.
Martin Hernandez
Mucho más complejo que el famoso "Veinte poemas de amor y una canción desesperada", aquí Pablo NERUDA se adentra en las técnicas surrealistas, empleando un lenguaje hermético y metafísico que invita a la reflexión. NERUDA es uno de los mejores y más influyentes poetas del siglo XX, y este volumen reúne sus mejores poemas.
Randall
Neruda breaks this collection down into different time periods in his life. As with O'Hara, I liked watching his style change over time. Early on he packed on the adjectives, the metaphors and the similes; later on he simplified more. At the end of the day, though, I'd prefer to watch "Il Postino" than try to navigate the myriad of allusions that Neruda throws at me simultaneously.
Dray
Dec 08, 2011 Dray rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Dray by: poetry class
Pablo Neruda is sexy.

Well actually he wasn't sexy at all, but he writes one hell of a poem. This isn't my favorite anthology of his...a little too political. woo, Communism.

I'm just amazed that even through a translation his tactile imagery and the essence of being human is so well represented. Maybe that's because humanity transcends language. Or something.
Helen
This book was a gift from my mother, and I love it. The poems are beautiful, but I tend to like the spanish versions better. The english version are on the opposite page which is helpful in case you don't know some of the vocabulary. Neruda is an amazing poet, and these poems are worth reading several times over just to get all of the nuances.
metaphor
Its is a region, I have already spoken
of this region so lonely,
where the earth is filled with ocean,
and there is no one but a horse's hoof prints,
there is no one but the wind, there is no one
but the rain falling over the waters of the sea,
no one but the rain growing over the sea.
Dan Butterfass
No one does surrealism as earthily, or as palatably, as Neruda in this book, which is actually 3 books in one.

I'd maybe throw Lorca in there, too, for surrealism that's not like entering someone's private room in which the doors and windows lock and shutter themselves upon entry.
Mark
I enjoyed this as I do all Neruda but it took me most of the year to finish it as I got 80% through it and was beaten down by the imagery from 3rd volume based on the Spanish Civil War. I let it sit for several months and came back to it in the last days of the year.
Roy
Deeply personal and yet deeply grounded (connected to real things, real processes of the life and earth around him). Not as surreal as it seems on the surface. The metaphors ring true to where he is and where he's going in/with his poems.
Katie
Thanks to Emily for this as well - both are wonderful. Also, check out the movie which ficticiously uses Neruda 'Il Postino' and the c.d. that was made along with it, recordings of his poems by a few famous people, it is wonderful.
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  • Collected Poems
  • The Collected Poems, 1957-1987
  • The Complete Poetry
  • Selected Poems
  • Altazor
  • Poemas y antipoemas
  • A Little Larger Than the Entire Universe: Selected Poems
  • Pablo Neruda: Absence and Presence
  • Duino Elegies/The Sonnets of Orpheus
  • The Palm at the End of the Mind: Selected Poems and a Play
  • Poems of Paul Celan
  • Where Shall I Wander
  • New and Collected Poems: 1931-2001
  • Poesía completa
  • Book of My Nights
  • Pictures from Brueghel and Other Poems: Collected Poems, 1950-1962
  • Complete Poems
4026
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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“If you should ask me where I've been all this time
I have to say "Things happen."
I have to dwell on stones darkening the earth,
on the river ruined in its own duration:
I know nothing save things the birds have lost,
the sea I left behind, or my sister crying.
Why this abundance of places? Why does day lock
with day? Why the dark night swilling round
in our mouths? And why the dead?”
44 likes
“Do you not hear the constant victory,
in the human footrace
of time, slow as fire,
sure, and thick and Herculean
accumulating its volume and adding its sad fiber?”
1 likes
More quotes…