Mark Eisner

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Influences

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"NERUDA: The Biography of a Poet," now out in paperback.

A Finalist for the 2019 PEN/Bograd Weld Prize for Biography

(hardcover edition titled "The Poet's Calling")

"Neruda: The Poet's Calling unfolds as a masterful weave of biography, literary criticism and cultural history, a scrupulous portrait of a genius as vast and contradictory as the continent he loved."
— The Barnes & Noble Review

“Eisner brings alive Latin America’s greatest poet...Empathetic but unflinching when occasion calls for criticism, Eisner weaves his subject’s stanzas that resonate with the poet’s personal stories. A definitive biography and instant classic.”
—Library Journal

"Mark Eisner's definitive biography of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda reads like a beautifully writt
...more

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Mark Eisner Robert, thank you so much for your words and your very thoughtful question/concern. You have reason to wonder its source. You weren't the only one.…moreRobert, thank you so much for your words and your very thoughtful question/concern. You have reason to wonder its source. You weren't the only one. Long story short (happy to explain the long story!), now in the paperback edition (retitled: Neruda: The Biography of a Poet)-- you'll find a footnote next to that quote:

"Surprisingly, perhaps disappointingly so, this quote is actually apocryphal. Despite its popular use and consistent attribution to Neruda, there's no record of Neruda ever saying or writing it. It has actually been attributed to Ernesto "Che" Guevara."...(less)
Mark Eisner Wow, Mike! Thank you. Reactions like yours show why this was all worth it, truly. And you'll see our friend Martin in the acknowledgements!

As I…more
Wow, Mike! Thank you. Reactions like yours show why this was all worth it, truly. And you'll see our friend Martin in the acknowledgements!

As I allude to it some in the intro, I believe, I had some general exposure to him when I was in college, not really sure, but definitely when I studied abroad in Central America my junior year-- I took down a bilingual copy of Selected Poems, and just everywhere I went, his words made my experience a bit more real, his impression growing in me:

I found myself doing fieldwork in the highlands of El Salvador, observing as the National Association of Agricultural Workers helped set up coffee cooperatives among the campesinos. This was following the first rounds of land reform, two years after peace accords had ended the country’s horrific civil war. Reading Neruda’s poetry at night made the history—the human experience of it—palpably real to me. The depth and simplicity of Neruda’s portrayal of humanity in the poems hit my soul.


When I returned, I did just kind of have him and that book just up there with other favorite books for a few years after I graduated from college (Michigan) until I started backpacking around Latin America:

I headed south again, with the same weathered book in my tattered green pack. Eventually I reached Chile, that slender country sliding off toward towards Antarctica. Somehow I found myself working on a ranch in its Central Valleycentral valley, nestled between the Andes and the sea. This was certainly part of Neruda’s territory, his terroir: here grew the grapes that made his velvet red wine and the red poppies that flower in his verse.

and well, one Nerudian experience after another, and I ended up starting to do my own translations on that ranch, which eventually ended up leading to The Essential Neruda: Selected Poems, and then a small film project, and then someone asking me to write the biography!

Thank you again, Mike, for taking the time to share your thoughts. They make my heart and soul come alive. Please let me know how you find the rest of the book (and please tell others about it!)

Truly,
Mark(less)
Average rating: 4.46 · 5,265 ratings · 239 reviews · 4 distinct worksSimilar authors
Neruda: The Poet's Calling

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What Neruda Owes Whitman - May 19th - Brooklyn Public Library

Near New York?
Once again at the wonderful Brooklyn Public Library, near where Walt Whitman stepped off that Brooklyn Ferry...

thrilled and honored to be a part of their Whitman bi-centennial celebrations, giving a 9 minute "lightening lecture" on Pablo's relationship to Walt, "These Whitman 200th Anniversary "lightning lectures" examine the vast scope of Whitman's legacy on poetry in the 20th c... Read more of this blog post »
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Published on May 17, 2019 15:39 Tags: ferlinghetti, jack-hirschman, neruda, whitman, whitman-200

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Neruda by Mark Eisner
"I have to admit that I had a couple of very unfair ideas about this book before I even cracked the cover. I was partly expecting a hagiography. I know that Eisner has spent much of his adult life researching Neruda. Even thought I deeply respect h..." Read more of this review »
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One of my favorite books of the past years, one of my favorite books ever-- more detailed reasons why to come-- and the new deluxe version with all the photos- woah!!
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The Galloping Hour by Alejandra Pizarnik
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these poems through deft and delightful translation and editing gallop through the heart as you read the stunning verses and lines that just bring you up by their reins (?) ;0
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these poems through deft and delightful translation and editing gallop through the heart as you read the stunning verses and lines that just bring you up by their reins (?) ;0
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Arte Y Poder/ Art and Power by Alicia Azuela De La Cueva
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More of Mark's books…
“Oh, let what I am keep on existing and ceasing to exist,
and let my obedience align itself with such iron
      conditions
that the quaking of deaths and of births doesn't shake
the deep place I want to reserve for myself eternally.”
Mark Eisner, The Essential Neruda: Selected Poems

“Let everything happen to you
Beauty and terror
Just keep going
No feeling is final”
Rainer Maria Rilke

“Lost time is gone forever. Nobody ever catches up.”
Natalia Sylvester, Chasing the Sun

“you can tell the deepest truths with the lies of fiction”
Isabel Allende

“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that receives it.”
Edith Wharton

“Every day we slaughter our finest impulses. That is why we get a heartache when we read those lines written by the hand of a master and recognize them as our own, as the tender shoots which we stifled because we lacked the faith to believe in our own powers, our own criterion of truth and beauty. Every man, when he gets quiet, when he becomes desperately honest with himself, is capable of uttering profound truths. We all derive from the same source. there is no mystery about the origin of things. We are all part of creation, all kings, all poets, all musicians; we have only to open up, only to discover what is already there.”
Henry Miller

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message 2: by Mark

Mark Eisner Hester, I just saw this show up! Thanks again, I enjoyed talking to you!


Hester Hi Mark, thank you for the add :)
I'm really glad you liked my review - your translation of Neruda is brilliant!


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