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Full Woman, Fleshly Apple, Hot Moon: Selected Poems

4.45  ·  Rating details ·  1,143 Ratings  ·  73 Reviews
The poetry of Pablo Neruda is beloved worldwide for its passion, humor, and exceptional accessibility. The nearly fifty poems selected for this collection and translated by Stephen Mitchell—widely praised for his original and definitive translations of spiritual writings and poetry—focus on Neruda's mature period, when the poet was in his fifties. A bilingual volume, with ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published February 11th 1998 by Harper Perennial (first published 1997)
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Apr 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
"I intend to confuse things,
to unite them, make them new-born,
intermingle them, undress them,
until the light of the world
has the unity of the ocean,
a generous wholeness,
a fragrance alive a crackling."

- Pablo Neruda, "Too Many Names" in Full Woman, Fleshy Apple, Hot Moon


Neruda has a gift for love poems, a gift for opening the book of life and translating its pages. I bought this book decades ago and it was peeped at, but never fully read. It wasn't his love poems. It wasn't The Captain's Verses.
"I want to speak with many things
and I won't leave this planet
without knowing what I came to find,
without resolving this matter,
and people are not enough
I have to go much farther
and I have to get much closer."
— a portion of "Bestiary", from Extravagaria

I truly believe that if every person viewed the world and its life the way Neruda did it would be a much better place.

I never would've dreamed that words could be so beautiful when used to describe what I thought were the most mundane of things:
Oct 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
“If we could do nothing for once,
Perhaps a great silence would
Interrupt this sadness,
This never understanding ourselves
And threatening ourselves with death,
Perhaps the earth is teaching us
When everything seems to be dead
And then everything is alive.”
— Pablo Neruda, Keeping Quiet

I loved this poetry collection; it contained so many odes to the most unlikeliest of subjects; ironing, watermelon, chestnuts, the poet's suit, for example.I was more touched than I thought I would be at his odes to anim
Zöe Yu
Sep 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: spanish
This book was left outside of a bankrupted antique bookshop in Israel, I went there a lot of times to rescue books, but this one I omitted. Before being collected as trash, someone picked it up for me, and luckily I didn't trash it ...

Then it reminds me how significant a cover design is, people must be judging its content by its book cover, therefore, I will have the chance to save it at last. Because one seldomly knows Pablo Neruda received Nobel Prize in literature in 1971. I didn't know this
Nathan Timoteo
Jul 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: lovers of poetry
Recommended to Nathan by: Pablo
Shelves: poetry
What can I say, or write, about Pablo Neruda? The images his words bring to mind seem to become tangible as the reading continues. This book of odes is wonderful, some of my favorite Neruda of all. I especially enjoy the Ode to Birds and the Ode to an Artichoke. Simple, sensual, ponderous and joyful... a wonderful celebration of each poem's subject. If you love Neruda (or poetry in general) I highly recommend this great collection. Enjoy!
Apr 13, 2013 rated it liked it
Pablo Neruda sees things, appreciates things, and he wallows in the beauty of these things he sees and appreciates in his poems. From the ordinary sock to a few people whom he holds dear, Neruda describes the essence of things in a way that enable you to appreciate them too.
Feb 03, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
"I don't love you as if you were the salt-rose, topaz/
or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:/
I love you as certain dark things are loved,/
secretly, between the shadow and the soul."

Need more be written?
Jan 03, 2010 added it
Shelves: poetry
Pablo Neruda is straight-up fantastic and Stephen Mitchell is quite a capable translator, though oddly, I like his work better here than in other translations.

My favorite poem ever, "Ode to the Black Panther," is in this book.
Wendy Wakeman
Apr 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love the odes to ordinary things best: an onion, salt, a pair of warm socks (of course).
This was a great collection. I have read some of Neruda's poetry before, but never come across his Odes before. They capture something about Neruda, how he can be so fun and playful ... and at the same time powerful. Here is are a couple from this collection I really liked:

Ode To The Onion by Pablo Neruda
luminous flask,
your beauty formed
petal by petal,
crystal scales expanded you
and in the secrecy of the dark earth
your belly grew round with dew.
Under the earth
the miracle
and when you
What we know is so little
and what we presume is so much
and we learn so slowly
that we ask and then we die.

- "Through a Closed Mouth the Flies Enter"

And my parents are asking me why I'm so obsessed about learning the Spanish language! This - and a bunch of other Latin American literature - is precisely why! Pablo Neruda has to be one of my favorite poets. I love his style, and the way he manipulates words, as is exemplified in a portion in his poem "The Word":

I take the word and move
through it, as
Andrea Blythe
Feb 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, poetry
I bought this collection of Pablo Neruda's poetry in 2001 and its taken me until now, ten years later, to finish it. This extremely slow pace should not be mistaken for dislike of the book, however. I had not read Neruda's work before I bought Full Woman, Fleshly Apple, Hot Moon. Traveling Mexico, I was looking for a book in Spanish and English that I could read, enjoy, and practice my Spanish with and I remembered that my Spanish teacher had mentioned this poet's name in class at one point.

I be
Feb 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, 4-star, own, favorites
These poems are so good. I feel the emotions and imagery in my bones.


We will never remember dying.

We were so patient
about being,
noting down
the numbers, the days,
the years and the months,
the hair, the mouths we kissed,
but that moment of dying:
we surrender it without a note,
we give it to others as remembrance
or we give it simply to water,
to water, to air, to time.
Nor do we keep
the memory of our birth,
though being born was important and fresh:
and now you don’t even remember one detail,
you hav
Jun 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
These poems, translated into English on the right side of each spread, are so clear that I can remember the exact words later-- rather than just the idea or the picture. For me, that's a miracle to be able to remember the exact words of something. Here is someone who truly uses words well. I've been contemplating his phrase about cabbages "trying on skirts" in the garden, and his reference to the unity of a "generous ocean" for a month.
So these poems are somehow solid, more real, than most word
Nov 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I purchased this book the other night because I was meeting a friend for drinks at a smoky bar, and I had an hour or two to myself before our encounter. It was a lovely November evening with the slight Portland drizzle doing its part to make the night magical. I settled for this collection because it was on sale for seven bucks, and it was the perfect companion for the evening. The beautiful way of Neruda's seeing is inspiring, and instills within me a certain everyday holiness that makes me fee ...more
Sep 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-original
Give me your slow blood,
give me your astonished flight!
Give me back
the key
of the door that was shut,
For a moment, for
a short lifetime,
take the light from me and let me
feel myself
lost and miserable,
trembling among the threads
of twilight,
receiveing into my soul
the trembling
Nov 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Sensuality defined. The universe hums with electricity and colour in Neruda's verse. There is an intimacy and vivacity and humour to these poems which I don't think anyone matches so consistently. Mitchell's selections, and his rich translations are superb.
Apr 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Best title ever! yummy poetry.
Jul 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Neruda is in my top five . . . maybe my top two poets. So great -- and I don't really like poetry!
Oct 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
I listened to this on Audible in an attempt to a) read more; b) learn how to use Audible for my class; and c) give audiobooks a chance. I thought poetry would be better than other stuff in audiobook form; I cannot escape the feeling of cheesiness with audiobooks. And poetry probably is better in audiobook form, but what I discovered here is that I'd rather read Pablo Neruda in Spanish, and to do that, I need to read, not listen, because that's just where I am with Spanish.

This collection itself
Caroline M
Sep 16, 2017 rated it really liked it

Not the kind of Neruda I usually read (Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair + Canto General are what I Live For), but really good nonetheless. Neruda has a way of writing that shows not only does he love the world, he convinces you to do it too.

Also, Ode to Watermelon really made me want to eat some watermelon.
Laurel Kathleen
Dec 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Amazing to read out loud. Rich imagery and sometimes hilarious subject matter.
Harry Allagree
Mar 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm always fascinated by the poetry of Pablo Neruda. With such a sexy title such as this books bears, who could resist?! What first caught my attention, however, was Stephen Mitchell's name. Through the years I've admired with great respect a number of his translations, so I figured he would do justice to Neruda...and he did.

Probably I should get credit for reading this book twice!...Neruda's Spanish is set alongside Mitchell's translation, and though it quickly became obvious that I need a rea
I'm not usually a huge fan of poetry, but I REALLY enjoyed this book. I'd never read any of Pablo Neruda's writing before. (I know, *gasp*, right?) I will be looking for more of his work before long.

The things that I liked about this book in particular was that it was a selection of his work culled from many of his books. It was Stephen Mitchell's "Best of Pablo..." choices so I felt like I got a broad sampling of the author's body of work. I also liked that it had the poems in their original Sp
Robert Teeter
Most of the poems in this collection were written when Neruda was in his 50s, the period of his odes -- poems to all kinds of things, both animate and inanimate -- and a period when he returned to his youthful themes of love and surrealism with a more mature eye. I was skeptical that Stephen Mitchell -- who has translated literature from many languages, not all of which he knows well -- could hold his own with translators who have made a specialty of Neruda's poems, but I think this collection e ...more
Miroku Nemeth
May 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is not a collection of sensual, erotic love poetry, as one would be inclined to think from the title. There are sensual, erotic love poems in it, but what this collection contains is a broader love poetry, a poetry where the poet, and, consequently, the reader, become lost in the adoration of the beauty of whatever natural object, person, or thing Neruda meditates upon. If you have ever found yourself lost in the beauty of simple things, feeling that they should be celebrated--if you are a ...more
I love, love, love Neruda but Stephen Mitchell is not a very good translator. I hated what Mitchell did to the Bhagavad Gita (Mitchell doesn't understand Sanskrit and made his 'translation' by reading other translated works of the Bhagavad Gita to make his own 'translation') and if I had been more attentive at the book store when I found this book and saw that Mitchell had translated it, I wouldn't have bought it.

There's more I could say about this book but, honestly, Neruda is just beyond word
Patrick Mcgee
Oct 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The first book of poetry I read from Pablo Neruda was the most recent I posted a review on--a small chapbookesque collection that I thoroughly enjoyed. I can definitely see what all the fuss is about with this poet after reading this collection of selected poems published in 1997. Neruda's choice of words and how he weaves them together is something special. He can write a poem about onions and tomatoes (and he does) and create some of the most eloquent poetry I have ever come across. Highly rec ...more
This was my first taste of Neruda, and I found him absolutely enchanting. His appreciation for the minuscule and sensual approach to the ordinary were delightful and delightfully refreshing. The only complaint I had was that I wanted more than the volume had to offer. So, in conclusion: my first taste, but certainly not my last.
Jan 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Neruda was so in love with life, the world, people and ordinary objects, animals and things. I could read this again and again. His passion for his subjects (birds! cats! an intelligent bottle of wine! an onion!) shines.

Every time I read it, I discover language so fresh, startling and economic, so fitting, whimsical and smart, I look forward to picking it up again.
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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
“I had no more alphabet
than the journeying of the swallows,
the pure and tiny water
of the small, fiery bird
that dances rising from the pollen.”
More quotes…