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Odas Elementales (Contemporanea)

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  1,923 Ratings  ·  104 Reviews
It shouldnbt be so dazzling to state that, after overcoming historic contingencies, Nerudabs work is, undoubtedly, among the most important ones of the XX century and not only in the Spanish language.
Published by Debolsillo (first published 1954)
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I found myself needing to read poetry for a Read Harder challenge, something I have not done since high school. I decided on Pablo Neruda as I had come across some of his love poetry and also read something of his history when I visited Valparaiso many years ago. This edition of Odes to Common Things seemed a great starting point to ease myself into his poetry.

It is a great collection, enhanced with lovely pencil sketches of the everyday items that are risen to objects of desire by these vers
Oct 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Through Neruda's voice we're reminded that a cat, a spoon, a table, an onion, a flower, are all worthy of poems written just for them. Through his eyes we're reminded of the wonder of the common things themselves, and of the wonder of their significance and place in the world. Lovely lines and arresting ideas knit themselves into poems even children can appreciate (and, perhaps, imitate for a classroom lesson).

The book itself is wonderful, too. The illustrations are either of two different kinds
Jun 07, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you ever wanted to translate Flemish still life painting into words, read this book.
May 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For the Read Harder Challenge, a collection of poetry in translation about a topic other than love.
Apr 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
luminosa redoma,
pétalo a pátalo
se formó tu hermosura,
escamas de cristal te acrecentaron
y en el secreto de la tierra oscura
se redendeó tu vientre de rocío.
Bajo la tierra
fue el milagro
e cuando apareció
tu torpe tallo verde,
y nacieron
tus hojas como espadas en el huerto,
la tierra acumuló su poderío
mostrando tu desnuda transparencia,

y como en Afrodita el mar remoto
duplicó la magnolia
levantando sus senos,
la tierra
así te hizo,
clara como un planeta,
y destinada
a relucir,
contelación consta
Black Elephants
Feb 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
I found myself in Austin, TX in the indie bookstore Book People, which is just wonderful because it is exactly what a bookstore should be: personable, full of personality and diverse in title selection. Book People welcomes browsers and makes you want to buy with the sincerity with which they display books to sell. On the second floor, the author of that great classic The True Story of the Three Little Pigs was about to speak, and below, I wandered among the staff recommendations without any tho ...more
Stephen Kiernan
Jan 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The great Neruda proves that no object is worthless in the eyes of art. A cat, a salt shaker, a chair, all have poetic resonance and emotional power in the hands of a great artist.
This particular edition has the benefit of the original language on the left hand pages, which makes for fun comparisons of words.
A quick and rewarding book of generally light verse.
Jul 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read odes to conger chowder, wine, tomatoes, maize, tuna, chestnut, artichoke, lemon, salt...sooo good! Couldn't believe such mundane things could be described so beautifully
Apr 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
These were simple and delightful, and made me want to write.
Manan Sheel
Aug 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
No one like Neruda!!!
Apr 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Poems to be read aloud and if possible to innocent children. Pleasing as can be.
Who can forget the gorgeous woolen socks of Maru Mori?
good things are doubly
when you're talking about a pair of wool
in the dead of winter.

Or the box of tea...?
box of tea,
like my
own heart
you arrived bearing
that had held
fabulous petals in their gaze
and also, yes,
lost scent
of tea, of jasmine and of dreams,
that scent of wandering spring.
Leave it to Neruda to point out the extraordinary aspects of "ordinary" things (bread, socks, onion, and so on). Just goes to show that miracles are always present in the mundane; we just need to see them through the eyes of a poet. For those of us lacking such vision, good thing there is Neruda.
Daniel Schechtel
Uno de los mejores libros que he leído. Te convertiste en una referencia para la creación poética, y por supuesto en uno de mis poetas preferidos, Neruda. Gracias por tanta belleza. Te releo con placer
Jane Branson
May 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ordinary stuff made beautiful with love and luminous words. Today, "Scissors" and "Cat" are my favourites. Tomorrow it might be "Chair" and "Yellow Flowers".
And the waves tell the firm coast:
'Everything will be fulfilled.'

Идейно. Странно. Симпатично.
(*aсоциации: Далчев, Pessoa)

Любимата ми, "Оde to hope":

Oceanic dawn
at the center
of my life,
waves like grapes,
the sky's solitude,
you fill me
and flood
the complete sea,
the undiminished sky,
and space,
sea foam's white
the orange earth,
the sun's
fiery waist
in agony,
so many
gifts and talents,
birds soaring into their dreams,
and the sea, the sea,
chorus of rich, resonant salt,
and mean
Bea Bezmalinovic
This is a beautiful book. Neruda's poems are presented in Spanish and English with black and white illustrations that fit the feel of the book. Neruda writes about everyday things - dogs, cats, carnations, violets, socks, scissors, etc - with such wit and insight that you won't look at these common things the same way after reading it.

I have read it several times. While I do not usually like poems, I loved this book. There are two other books in the series that I am adding to my want to read lis
Jonathan Hiskes
Feb 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful little songs of praise to everyday objects -- chair, a cat, a bar of soap, a cluster of violets. This edition also has lovely ink drawings of the subjects. From the ode to French fries (a topic that deserves much more poetic praise): "French/fries/go/into the pan/like the morning swan's/snowy/feathers/and emerge/half-golden from the olive's/crackling amber."
Michelle Arostegui
This is my favorite poetry book of all time, and the left hand page is in English and the right hand page is in Spanish. Both sides are equally lovely, and evoke different feelings about common, everyday objects like chairs and spoons.
Sea Witch
Oct 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I recommend this poems in particular:
•Ode to the atom
•Ode to the copper
•Ode to the fire
•Ode to Guatemala
•Ode to Leningrado
Antonio Delgado
Jun 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Neruda proves that poetry is even in the most trivial object of feeling. He is the Joycean Daedalus.
Dec 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
No todas las odas me gustaron. Pero las que me gustaron realmente llegaron hondo.
Nuala Dubh
Feb 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
4.5 - Beautiful book, beautiful poems- not the best translations
Jack Castillo
Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My introduction to Neruda was Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair; I loved that book of poems so much that I would give it as a gift whenever I was invited to a wedding. I would read it to my wife on amorous nights. I tried to memorize several of the poems; I even read them in Spanish without worrying about the translation. Now I have to make space on the table next to my reading chair for Odes to Common Things. These gems are like diamonds sparkling in the sand, witty, funny and relaxing. I ...more
Jul 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Creo que la poesía realmente buena es aquella que no solo produce goce estético y placer sonoro, sino que además nos hace ver el mundo de una manera diferente, nos brinda una nueva y única forma de conocimiento. Todo eso y más lo he obtenido de estas maravillosas "Odas Elementales", que han cambiado mi forma de apreciar las cosas sencillas de la vida. Uno termina de leer este libro y le dan ganas de escribirle un poema al libro que reposa sobre la cama, a un perro paseando por la calle, a un tro ...more
Mar 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having read these immediately after Neruda's Twenty Love Poems (also amazing), I found myself truly loving Neruda for the first time. These poems, are in many ways, Neruda's love poems to the world of things. The issues with reading poems in translation are present as always, but many of these poems are revelatory. For instance, here is the end of "Ode to Sadness": I will stitch your eyelids shut,/I will sew your shroud,/sadness, and bury your rodent bones/beneath the springtime of an apple tree ...more
Andrew Nicholas
Aug 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book of poems right here will leave you with a crazy, crazy love of things. Pablo Neruda resurrects the ordinary as well as Marilynne Robinson does. The extraordinary, the transcendent, the unimaginably meaningful, the impossibly beautiful, the unspeakably sacred, reveals itself to him as the most common. This book challenged me to love everyday things not because they are passionate or pleasurable or sweet-smelling but because, I dont know, because they are intrinsically sacred by virtue o ...more
Oct 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, classic, poetry
I studied a few of Neruda's odes to common things back in High School, but this was my first time actually sitting down and making a point of reading a collection of his. It was quite lovely, and I enjoyed it! I have a rudimentary understanding of Spanish (again, a holdover from high school) so it was interesting trying to compare the Spanish and English versions. There was only one point at which I feel that the translator's choice was not what I would've gone with, but otherwise it seemed like ...more
Tyler Jones
May 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
These are beautiful poems.
But..if I may nit-pick...they are a bit repetitive. I mean the first time he used the planetarium simile, it was striking. But then it shows up in two more poems in close order.

Something about this collection does not quite work for me. Perhaps it is the inclusion of animals and vegetables along with common inanimate objects that seems awkward to me. A dog is not a spoon. Even though the odes to the dog and the cat were probably the best poems in the collection, I jus
Mar 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Neruda was a prince of a man. The one language that I was NOT interested in was Spanish-- it was "common" and I wanted to travel. I have not traveled much and I cannot get over how much knowing and speaking it would help me in social work.

Neruda's bilingual poetry is lovely. I like to read the English out loud while glancing at the Spanish. My favorite poem of all time is his Ode to Socks. He wrote about common things for common people. He saw art and beauty everywhere.
Jul 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Without question, one of my favorite books of poetry. Neruda has microscopic eyes! Amazing ability to strip everything done to the bone, even meaningless objects transform into treasures under his hand. His keen eye teaches us to appreciate each object on this earth. He picks up the unseen, the unnoticed, and turns it into art.
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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...
“A book,
a book full
of human touches,
of shirts,
a book
without loneliness, with men
and tools,
a book
is victory.”
“So the freshness lives on
in a lemon,
in the sweet-smelling house of the rind,
the proportions, arcane and acerb.”
More quotes…