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100 Love Sonnets

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4.39  ·  Rating details ·  14,680 ratings  ·  598 reviews
Against the backdrop of Isla Negra - the sea and wind, the white sand with its scattering of delicate wild flowers, the hot sun and salty smells of the Pacific - the poet sets the poems in celebration of his love. The subject of that love is Matilde Urrutia de Neruda, Pablo's 'beloved wife'.
Paperback, 232 pages
Published January 1st 1986 by University of Texas Press (first published 1959)
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Sasha Somewhat, it's more poetic description of what love feels like. I'd recommend it.
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Brina
Jul 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have been mesmerized with the persona of Pablo Neruda since I saw the film version of Postman, The/ Il Postino back in high school. In that depiction, Neruda is an exiled poet living in Italy during the rise of Mussolini while there befriends his mail carrier in a charming story. Later, having read many novels and memoirs by Isabel Allende, I have been privileged to learn of her Chilean perspective of Neruda as the nation's poet laureate, especially during Pinochet's 1973 coup d'état. Yet, unt ...more
Charissa
Oct 22, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: romantics, the tortured, accordian players
Recommended to Charissa by: fate
When I got tired of copying love poems from the Chinese and Japanese into urgent, wretched note cards to lovers who were unattainable (and I'm a genius at finding unattainable characters to pine after)... that's when I turned to Pablo Neruda. He's even better than Asian poets at crafting throbbing, passionate, wounded phrases of affection:

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrence
risen from the earth, l
...more
David
Feb 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really sometimes wonder if I love right, love correctly, or if I love at all and am not just miming what I think, what I want, I feel. For me I love all at once, I fall very fast, but rarely. I will go long loveless periods through life, happy and unthinking of what passions I am missing, unenvious of people paired in love, like a bright new boat at sea not thinking at all of the harbor. And suddenly in a lightning flash (un coup de foudre), I am whipped up into a maelstrom of passion and angu ...more
Kim
Apr 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Michelle
It was one of those days. The kids flooded the bathroom, the cat vomited on my carpet, a toothbrush got lodged down the drain. One of those days. It was not a day to start a Sarah Vowell book about the beginnings of Hawaii… No, not today. Today, I grabbed the bottle of Sangria and sat down with this.

Again, I have to thank Goodreads for introducing me to Bells (shout out to Bells! Woot! Woot!) who introduced me to Pablo. Imagine living my whole life and not knowing Pablo!! The horror!

There is a
...more
Patrick Gibson
Apr 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: poetry
My comment would be: 'written on the wings of butterflies.'

"I want you to know
one thing.

You know how this is:
if I look
at the crystal moon, at the red branch
of the slow autumn at my window,
if I touch
near the fire
the impalpable ash
or the wrinkled body of the log,
everything carries me to you,
as if everything that exists,
aromas, light, metals,
were little boats
that sail
toward those isles of yours that wait for me.

Well, now,
if little by little you stop loving me
I shall stop loving you little by little
...more
Steven Godin
Oct 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, latin-america
I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadows and soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
So I love you be
...more
Julie
8.5/10

I have been consuming poetry in the last few months at an inordinate rate. I enter phases -- cycles in my life where it's easier to read poetry than prose; more importantly, where my life demands poetry more than it does prose. It's silly, in that context, to add long passages of my boring prose to describe what Neruda does perfectly in poems. All I can add is, if you haven't read Neruda, or haven't read him lately, do your soul a favour and pick up this little book, even if you borrow it
...more
Lisa *-* GiViNg It To YoU * LoCk StOcK & TwO SmOkiNg BaRrELs
*****5 Stunning Stars*****





I was utterly swept away by the beauty of these love sonnets.

Someone had sent me a quote from one of them, I fell in love with it...and just had to read more....

I love you without knowing how, or when,
or from where.

I love you straightforwardly, without
complexities or pride

so I love you because I know no other way than this

where I does not exist, nor you

so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,

so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.



How..
...more
Edita
Sep 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pablo-neruda, poetry
I made these sonnets out of wood; I gave them the sound of that opaque pure substance, and that is how they should reach your ears. Walking in forests or on beaches, along hidden lakes, in latitudes sprinkled with ashes, you and I have picked up pieces of pure bark, pieces of wood subject to the comings and goings of water and the weather. Out of such softened relics, then, with hatchet and machete and pocketknife, I built up these lumber piles of love, and with fourteen boards each I built litt ...more
jeremy
Nov 26, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: translation, poetry
and to me she quoted him...

"no one else, love, will sleep in my dreams. you will go,
we will go together, over the waters of time.
no one else will travel through the shadows with me,
only you, evergreen, ever sun, ever moon."

thus, i knew for sure.
Alissa
Feb 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Super simply put, Neruda is word sex. I am not a love poems lover, but these sonnets are so nakedly a lover's poems that in this case I'm head over heels. In seriousness, these are brilliant in translation but I especially adored the original Spanish as it really was the work at its most lyrically organic awesomeness. (And my Spanish is wobbly at best).

And organic is really the only word I'd use to describe these...Neruda himself, probably self-depricatingly (but un-self-consciously razor-accura
...more
pink (not just another shade of red)
Is the rose naked,
Or is that her only dress?

You won't believe how beautiful the images these two short lines conjure in my head, intricate rose blooms, luscious, red petals spinning in the dark, red folds of silk, dragging on the floor to the dark chambers of a secret lover.




There are lone cemeteries,
tombs full of soundless bones,
the heart threading a tunnel,
a dark, dark tunnel:
like a wreck we die to the very core,
as if drowning at the heart
or collapsing inside from skin to soul



Now that is just s
...more
Natalie
Nov 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Probably my most favorite poet of contemporary times. Neruda uses language and nature to bring out the truthfulness of beauty, desire, love, and lust. The honesty and comparisons of love to simple and pure things in nature makes me wish I knew spanish and could read his writings in his native language.
He also divides his sonnets into the catagories of morning, afternoon, and night, with each infiltrating new or different dimensions of love. Not always happy or unrealalistic, Neruda is honest in
...more
Emily
Jul 06, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone, even if you hate love
I'm willing to admit that it's possible that other people in the world have been as in love with someone as Pablo Neruda was, but no one has ever expressed it so beautifully or ardently. With the eloquence and passion of a hundred poets, Neruda crafts lines that honor love so well that most people don't even know that love could BE so consuming or so light, so natural or so still. What Pablo Neruda does for love poetry- and for all poetry, for that matter- is a gift to the world. Muchas gracias, ...more
Reem
Jul 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you simply, without problems or pride:
I love you in this way because I do not know any other way of loving
but this, in which there is no I or you,
so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand,
so intimate that when I fall asleep your eyes close.
...
Oh, my dearest, I could not love you so!
But when I hold you I hold everything that is
Sand, time, the tree of the rain,

Everything is alive so that I can be alive
Without moving I can
...more
Keith
Sep 07, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: chilean-writers
I am not an avid reader of poetry nor will ever claim to fully understand the genre. But these two following sonnets: XVII & LXXXI by Neruda took a hold of my heart, my soul, touch me so deeply and intensely. They make me long for the day that I am in a relationship that will encompass & possess both the true essence and magnitude of unconditional love that is written in each one of these sonnets. I fully know that one day it will happen and when it does, it will take hold of me, my CORE and I w ...more
Joshie
As my fourth Neruda poetry collection, 100 Love Sonnets is undoubtedly lacking compared to Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair, The Captain’s Verses, and Full Woman, Fleshly Apple, Hot Moon. Akin to intimacy and body landscapes among Gerard Schlosser’s paintings, Neruda paints love in a spectrum of emotions and shades; from devotion to inquisition to desolation, from red to mauve to blue. However the words that convey them can be sparse. With such limitation it is no wonder the sonnets can b ...more
Cheryl
May 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
need I say more......

Love Sonnet XVII by Pablo Neruda
I do not love you as if you were a salt rose, or topaz
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you stra
...more
Mahshid
Nov 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
tie your heart at night to mine, love
and both will defeat the darkness
like twin drums beating in the forest
against the heavy wall of wet leaves
Amey
Mar 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Matilde, where are you? Down there I noticed,
under my necktie and just above the heart,
a certain pang of grief between the ribs,
you were gone that quickly.

I needed the light of your energy,
I looked around, devouring hope.
I watched the void without you that is like a house,
nothing left but tragic windows.

Out of sheer taciturnity the ceiling listens
to the fall of the ancient leafless rain,
to feathers, to whatever the night imprisoned:

so I wait for you like a lonely house
till you will s
...more
Kyra
Mar 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
You're probably expecting me to say something...scholarly. I can only say:
1) This is probably one of the best books of poetry ever
2) It should be treated with caution. Do not read under the following circumstances:
A. out loud
B. in the original language
C. in the presence of anyone of the opposite sex
D. while under the influence
E. all of the above
3) Don't ask me how I came to the above conclusions.
Sidharth Vardhan
Okay this is just porn for saphosexuals.
Nashwa نشوى
May 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This poetry book is a fortune, the type of book you'd give 10 stars blindly!!

When I looked up the reviews and the rating, then read a sample sonnet online and found it so beautiful, I was so encouraged to start reading it asap.. But, unfortunately, I couldn't find a free pdf copy available online, and I was so disappointed, kept searching and I found them translated by Alan Davison, but the translation wasn't good enough "wouldn't say bad for the exerted effort to translate them".

Although the 1s
...more
Lesr Kew
Aug 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The author’s way with words was truly beautiful. I didn’t care for every poem, but I didn’t expect to. Sometimes you just need to find the right one and there were various right ones.

In some of my favorites, though, the english translation left something to be desired. It just didn’t always translate well. Whether it was the translator or the language difference, I cannot quite tell you. Perhaps it was just that I personally would have said it a different way. But that is the thing with languag
...more
tinaathena
Jun 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
pablo be horny
Anita NotherBook
May 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who likes poetry
Oh, Pablo, my first love. I used to think I'd never fall in love with a real guy because I was so in love with this dead poet. Now I have and I am trying to choose selections from Neruda's poetry to read at my wedding to said real life guy. ;) The choice is so hard because I love so many different poems by Neruda!

"100 Love Sonnets" is clearly the best selection of Neruda's love poetry in one volume. All of the poems in the book were obstensibly written for Neruda's third wife Mathilde, and many
...more
Debbie Robson
Jul 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This collection is mesmerising. I feel I need to read it again and again to absorb all the nuances of each sonnet. Favourite few lines:
"You and I, Love, together we ratify the silence,
while the sea destroys its perpetual statues,
collapses its towers of wild speed and whiteness:

because in the weavings of those invisible fabrics,
galloping water, incessant sand,
we make the only permanent tenderness."

This is from the Nineth Sonnet. Favourite Sonnet the 90th.
Absolutely wonderful!
Renata
Oct 16, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
It is very difficult to review a poetry collection. Neruda is undoubtedly a genious. This book contained diamonds of conception, yet the poets' occasional verbalisms and repetitive descriptions of the same subject - or should I say the same person - became tiring at times. My favourite sonnets were by far number 44 and 89.
Mike
Nov 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People who accidentally add it
Recommended to Mike by: The freaking search
Whoa, I meant to add Exile to my list, but this was right underneath it, and I accidentally gave this four stars. I hope this can be deleted. If not, this will be my review. If so, this makes for a funny story kinda.
Adina
It was my first attempt to read a book in Spanish (a language I am not the best at). My attempt was not very successful as poetry is hard to understand even in the native language. I will continue with easier books in the future.
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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

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