whichwaydidshego?'s Reviews > Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair

Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair by Pablo Neruda
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Mar 13, 08

bookshelves: poetry, translations
Recommended for: those who appreciate being steeped in imagery... & passion.
Read in March, 2008

I took my time reading this, choosing to savor the succulent, vivid, tactile words. I must say, these poems are luscious! I feel their imagery as much as visualize it. Phrases such as "In the moist night my garment of kisses trembles..." A garment of kisses. How delightful! (I want one!)

I also love how he is constantly mixing ideas of fire and water together, as if with love somehow they feed off each other where they should cancel each other out. "Bonfire of awe in which my thirst was burning." "...I go mounded on my one wave,/lunar, solar, burning and cold all at once." It is a delicate balance that is dynamic as the flames of passion grow and the cresting waves of excitement rise and crash in.

As a side note, I love that the poem is shown in it's original language first and on the opposing page. It's intriguingly seductive to read the verse in it's original form and hear it's fluidity and elegance. Then, too, having the Picasso illustrations intermingled with Neruda's vibrant voice adds volume to the juxtaposition of his colliding passions.

This is a lovely little tome that will envelop you and draw you back into it's pages with words like, "You undermine the horizon with your absence," calling out to the core of you.
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message 1: by Arctic (new) - added it

Arctic Great review, Michele! I'm a fan of Neruda's poetry as well. I'll need to get my hands on a copy of this collection.

Have you seen the film, Il Postino? If not, I think you'd really enjoy it.


whichwaydidshego? Thanks so much for the compliment, Heather.

Yes, I saw Il Postino in the theatres way back when... I was living in San Diego at the time and had to drive considerably far to find it. Guess that shows just how much I wanted to see it... and I didn't even know about Neruda, really, even with being a Lit major and studying at that time!


♥ Ibrahim ♥ Michele, I didn't know you also liked Neruda. I am absorbed in reading a collection of books of his poetry and this one is on top of them. It would have been nice to discuss them with somebody who really appreciates Neruda. My liberal friends in the Middle East all adore Neruda and that is my acquaintance with this dear poet.


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