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Selected Odes

4.42  ·  Rating details ·  234 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
The atom, a tuna, laziness, love—the everyday elements and essences of human experience glow in the translucent language of Neruda's odes. Chilean poet Pablo Neruda wrote three books of odes during his lifetime. Odas elementales was published in 1954, followed in subsequent years by Nuevas odas elementales and Tercer libro de las odas. Margaret Sayers Peden's selection of ...more
Paperback, 386 pages
Published November 1st 2000 by University of California Press (first published 1990)
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Hana Bouziane
Dec 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
Oh, the thirst to know
how many!
The hunger
to know
how many
stars in the sky!
We spent
our childhood counting
stones and plants, fingers and
toes, grains of sand, and teeth,
our youth we passed counting
petals and comets' tails.
We counted
colors, years,
lives, and kisses;
in the country,
oxen; by the sea,
the waves. Ships
became proliferating ciphers.
Numbers multiplied.
The cities
were thousands, millions,
wheat hundreds
of units that held
within them smaller numbers,
smaller than a single grain.
Time be
Sep 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
If snow falls
upon two heads,
the heart is sweet
the house is warm.
If not,
in the storm, the wind
where is the woman you loved?
and nipping at your heels
will press you to seek her.
Half a woman is one woman
and one man is half a man.
Each lives in half a house,
each sleeps in half a bed.
R.G. Evans
Apr 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read Neruda before, but I must not have been ready for him since his poems never grabbed me before. These odes, though, were a revelation in their ecstatic celebration of the everyday. Nice to know I've caught up with the rest of the world in loving Neruda.
Jul 21, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: thiefs
I bought this book for your birthday, Sarah and then I started reading it and then I read it so much it looked used so....I did see a biography of Pamela lee Anderson you might enjoy, I understand it's a "must read" and your bday is still a ways out. I'm sure you'll be pleased either way.
The only thing about this book (Neruda not Anderson) that I don't love is the format: Spanish on the left and English on the right. I understand the intent but everytime I turn the page, it breaks a little becau
Jul 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Frankly, these poems should come off as completely trite. I mean, they're these long, rambling, effusive poems glowing with delight -- the kind of romantic stuff that should make a reader want to gag. And yet Neruda has such a gift for the ode -- his delight feels genuine, sincere, and somehow rigorous. In his "Ode to the Seagull" for example, he waxes rhapsodic for a while about the lightness of the bird and then acknowledges that the story doesn't end there -- that the seagull is also a greedy ...more
Nov 19, 2007 rated it really liked it
Textured personification, the friendly snaking down of words for easy breathing; a little humor, a little tragedy, a little love. "Poetry is an act of peace." "Peace goes into the making of a poet as flour goes into the making of bread." Neruda guides us to thinking about the ordinary differently. Ode to the Thread gives us the imperative to transmit the lightening of poetry -- "revived by the light of each new day."
Mar 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is a book that I have bought, given away, bought...this is one title I insist on having my own copy of at all times. Such a lovely book filled with Neruda's loving, loving observations of the natural world. Ode to Time is likely my favorite. I am indebted to Mata for years ago giving me a copy of Neruda's Ode to an Artichoke, which introduced me to the miracle that is Neruda.
Sep 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
No one glorifies the rooster like Neruda... Those who know him, need no explanation. Pablo Neruda takes a seemingly banal subject and creates a fantastic and extraordinarily enthralling little world for it through the skill of breathtakingly beautiful language and totally unique imagery.
Jun 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I wish that I could write with such descriptive beauty as Pablo Neruda. He is my favorite poet for his choice of words and the visual feast that they provide. I like the fact that these are presented in his original spanish with the english translation on the facing page.
Aug 28, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry, pablo-neruda
We live
on the edge
of the wave,
with the smell of the sea,
with its starry wine.
Apr 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The Ode to Wine is everything.
Aug 09, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
My favorite book of Neruda, and I love the translation, too. The odes are so simple but yet they are so visual I see a short move in each one. Ode to the Artichoke is one of my favorites.
Shauna Tharp
Jun 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
My new favorite poet - from his timing to wording to subject to the visual appeal of space and letters. Loved it!
Mar 31, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Este es el hilo
de la poesía.
Los hechos como ovejas
van cargados
de luna
o blanca.

Oda al hilo

I love Neruda's odes. I'll leave it at that. :)
Jul 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
These poems tended to be longer than his usual poems. I was so impressed with the odes to such things as socks, the dictionary, seaweed, etc. My favrite odes were to Salt, Lemon and The Tomatoe.
Dec 31, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How to distill an exaltation: for each line, maybe one, two or three words...tapping on the reader's breath...points of light, a code in the night sky.
Mar 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
There's too much beauty in these odes to even deal with. And Margaret Sayers Peden is my favorite translator of Neruda.
Jul 20, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
A- Lovely bilingual poems. I read them in both Spanish and English.
Joanna Ravlin
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Jan 03, 2011
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Aug 16, 2007
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Katy Kennedy
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Dec 15, 2007
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Stian Larsen
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May 26, 2012
Matt Mollison
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Jun 29, 2011
Nicholas Hansen
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Jan 14, 2015
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Jennifer Givhan
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May 15, 2017
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Jan 02, 2010
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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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