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The Captain's Verses

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  7,040 ratings  ·  367 reviews
Pablo Neruda, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, finished writing The Captain's Verses in 1952 while in exile on the island of Capri—the paradisal setting for the blockbuster film Il Postino (The Postman). Surrounded by sea, sun, and Capri's natural splendors, Neruda addressed these poems to his lover Matilde Urrutia before they were married, but didn't publish them ...more
Paperback, 151 pages
Published February 25th 2009 by New Directions (first published 1952)
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4.25  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,040 ratings  ·  367 reviews


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Ahmad Sharabiani
Los versos del capitán = The captain's verses, Pablo Neruda
Pablo Neruda, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, finished writing The Captain's Verses in 1952 while in exile on the island of Capri--the paradisal setting for the blockbuster film Il Postino (The Postman). Surrounded by sea, sun, and Capri's natural splendors, Neruda addressed these poems to his lover Matilde Urrutia before they were married, but didn't publish them publicly until 1963. This complete, bilingual collection has bec
...more
Jibran
Dec 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nobel, hispanic, verse
Love, a question
has destroyed you.


Love, Desire, Furies, – it is in these elemental emotions Pablo Neruda has cast in verse his and the life of his beloved. They met at the beginning of Time when Big Bang was taking shape in their souls and when those various elements came together, guided by violent forces, in a restive arrangement to from their bodies out which arose a desire of self-preservation in perpetual conflict with the vein of self-abnegation. In a way these poems represent the struggle
...more
Ammara Abid
Jun 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One word for this book,
'Sensuous'

Love, a question
has destroyed you.



LIVES
 Ah how ill at ease sometimes
I feel you are
with me, victor among men!
Because you do not know
that with me were victorious
thousands of faces that you can not see,
thousands of feet and hearts that marched with me,
that I am not,
that I do not exist,
that I am only the front of those who go with me,
that I am stronger
because I bear in me
not my little life
but all the lives,
and I walk steadily forward
because I have a thousand eyes,
I
...more
Patrick Gibson
Sep 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Undoubtedly some of the finest love poems ever written and probably Neruda’s masterpiece (my opinion).

"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 lovei
...more
Michael Finocchiaro
Neruda was such an incredible poet. The Captain's Verses is one of his most incredible and delectable collections of poems. One wants to cry and dance and scream when reading his limpid, beautiful lyricism. To be read again and again and again throughout life to remind oneself of true beauty and intense desire.
Mike
Nov 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nearly as beautiful as the person who brought it to me. Thank you, Shannon. ;)

"I could not walk
except with you,
...I could not sing
except when you sing."
Hoda Marmar
Dec 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-book
I really enjoyed these poems 💗
Lucy Qhuay
Oct 01, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry

I've read beautiful things from Pablo Neruda, but I can't say I enjoyed this one and how he connected everything with Nature and things surrounding it. Not that I don't like that kind of poetry. I just didn't enjoy the way he put things together.

There is one poem I loved, though:

El Monte Y El Río


En mi patria hay un monte.
En mi patria hay un río.

Ven conmigo.

La noche al monte sube.
El hambre baja al río.

Ven conmigo.

Quiénes son los que sufren?
No sé, pero son míos.

Ven conmigo.

No sé, p
...more
Ursula
Sep 17, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love Neruda, but will someone please make an announcement that his poems aren't really appropriate to be read in wedding ceremonies? (Unless the groom is a philandering possessive romantic, which probably shouldn't come out at the wedding, anyway.) And while spreading the word about Neruda, please mention that black and white are both inappropriate dress colors for guests (and mothers of the bride or groom, for that matter).
Darwin8u
Sep 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
I wish my Spanish was good enough to appreciate Neruda IN Spanish. I love the earthy, populist quality of his love poems. His poems, for reasons I can't fully articulate, resonate with me. All poets should be rabid political southpaws writing erotic love letters to girls, mountains & rivers.
John
Feb 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
When I was a young man, I picked up this volume of Neruda's poetry. I was around 20 years old (so far as I can remember), and I was trying to widen my worldview. I remember reading Neruda's poems and wanting--desperately wanting--to find something deep and meaningful in them. I dove in relentlessly, fanning through the book and pulling them out in random fashion. My mind devoured them eagerly. My mind found nothing in the poems that it responded to.

Recently I have decided to revisit some books t
...more
Afra Anan Saba
Jun 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Love, a question
has destroyed you."
Joshie
Feb 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Have you ever been in love? Or rather, how many times have you been in love?

Neruda's The Captain's Verses was a shipwreck of emotions yet a cruise ship to the islands of desire, devotion, and dreams. What set apart Neruda from other poets was his ability to make something extraordinary out of the simple things; an appreciation of gestures, everyday-entities unnoticed; a love all of us, at one time, have the luck to feel yet struggle to define and show. Comparing this collection to Twenty Love P
...more
Emily
Jun 20, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
your beauty then
not only lights the fire
that burns unquenched among us
but with your love it is calling to me
and across your life
it is giving me the life that I lack
and to the taste of your love is added the clay,
the kiss of the earth that waits for me.

~from
Little America

This book was quite beautiful. I've been meaning to read some Neruda ever since I visited his LOVELY houses in Chile (he was Chilean, the first South American to be a Nobel Laureate (fun fact)) -- https://sparrowsflysouth.blogsp
...more
Patricia J. O'Brien
Nobel Laureate Pablo Neruda was an activist in Chile, but he also wrote some of the world's great poems of love. I purchased this edition of The Captain's Verses because it gives the poems in both the original Spanish (lovely lyric flow) and in English. He was a master of imagery who bared his soul in words. His poems burn bright, cut deep and can make me weep. Read them aloud and see.
I'll give some samples from various poems. Nothing else can really express what his poems can do.
From "The Dream
...more
Noah Goats
Some of these poems read a lot like the sort of schmaltzy nonsense that might be written by a lovelorn high school student, others are a bit better than that. It's hard to see how Neruda ever won a Nobel prize if this is representative of his work.

Quítame el pan, si quieres,
Quítame el aire, pero
No me quitas tu risa.

There are a lot of passages here that sound like second hand pop music lyrics. Of course, Spanish my second language, and when I read in Spanish the words don't have quite the same s
...more
vi macdonald
Is Pablo Neruda the greatest poet in any language of all time?
I dunno, maybe - he's definitely a solid contender, that's for sure.
Brian
Aug 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I found the poem I read to Allie at our wedding in this collection.
Kennedy Dawn
Dec 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such a beautiful collection of love poems. Received it as a gift from my boyfriend and was moved greatly. Love his reference to the earth.
Angeli
Jul 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
“it seems
as though you would fit
in one of my hands,
as though I’ll clasp you like this
and carry you to my mouth,
but
suddenly
my feet touch your feet and my mouth your lips:”

I had to read this at once when it was mentioned in another book I was reading called Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley.

I’ve known Neruda through Patch Adams (1998) because the film showcased his Sonnet 17. We also studied his Tonight I Write the Saddest Lines in Uni, so that’s that. But srsly, I am in love with this book! Thi
...more
Autumn
Jul 05, 2018 rated it liked it
I really wanted to like this collection, but struggled after reading the same metaphors in each poem. Like, I get it Pablo-her mountainous body reminds you of wheat, and you really like her boobs. She pierces you like the thorny flower she is, and you bleed in jealous, possessive agony. But your love is just so strong, it transcends borders, crosses through time and space, and it blooms into the most beautiful garden. Your love that-I GET IT ALREADY, STOP WITH THE METAPHORS.
Elena ( The Queen Reads )
Jan 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
But I love your feet
only because they walked
upon the earth and upon
the wind and upon the waters,
until they found me
Alli
Well, holy crap. That was beautiful.
Sarah Heidelberg
May 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
OMG, what do I say about my favorite male poet? "If little by little you stop loving me, then little by little I shall stop loving you." Those are his words I have lived by in one of my favorite poems Iloved for years. I have learned Spanish thru these beautifully cascading poems. And it is wonderful to find a person with whom you feel you can share these treasured and wise poems.
Dante
Jan 15, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, verse, lyric-poem
The Captain's Verses is a collection of lyric poems by the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. It was first published anonymously in 1952, and many years later it was reprinted with the author's name.

The book is divided into four parts (Love, Desire, The Furies, and Lives) and all in all there are 42 poems.

Most of the poems are about, well, physical and emotional love and longing, while the others are political. I liked a few of the poems, because I could somehow relate to them, but the rest I either co
...more
Krzysztof
Jan 07, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013, reviewed, poetry
I'm sorry, am I the only one who read the section "The Furies"? Look, poetry has its share of creepers. Andrew Marvell used the fear of death to get in some chick's pants in "To His Coy Mistress" (think "Only the Good Die Young" c.1650), but that's nothing compared to this. Here, Neruda is downright menacing.

Oh no, I hear you saying. Not my Pablo Honey Bunny. Allow me to retort:

The Slip

If your foot slips again,
it will be cut off.

If your hand leads you
to another road
it will rot away.

If you take y
...more
Rachel
Dec 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"...in love you have loosened yourself like seawater:
I can scarcely measure the sky's most spacious eyes
and I lean down to your mouth to kiss the earth."(p.3)

"But I love your feet
only because they walked
upon the earth and upon
the wind and upon the waters,
until they found me."(p.11)

"She was made of black mother-of-pearl,
made of dark-purple grapes,
and she lashed my blood
with her tail of fire."(p.21)

"I have slept with you
all night long while
the dark earth spins
with the living and the dead..."(p.25
...more
Sunny
Jun 19, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
beauty:
your waist
was formed by my arm like a flowing river
for a thousand yeas over your sweet body,
my beauty ...


my son:
like a great tempest
we shook and shook
the tree of life
down to the most secret
fibres of its roots,
and now you appear
singing in the leaves
on the highest branch
that we reached with you

The Well:
At times you sink, you fall
into your hole of silence,
into your abyss of proud anger,
and you can scarcely
return, still bearing remnants
of what you found
in the depths of your existe
...more
Colin N.
Jul 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
An excellent collection of poetry by Neruda. I picked this up for a number of reasons, having visited his house in Santiago and having recently read Jan Neruda, the Czech author who inspired Pablo's nom de plume. And I was not disappointed.



The first dozen or so poems in this collection, the Love poems, are beautiful and moving. The Desire and Furies poems are also quite strong. Neruda blends the descriptions of the woman he loves with images of his homeland and evokes the madness and all-consumi
...more
metaphor
Jun 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, pablo-neruda
In the night we shall go in
to steal
a flowering branch.

We shall climb over the wall
in the darkness of the alien garden,
two shadows in the shadow.

Winter is not yet gone,
and the apple tree appears
suddenly changed
into a cascade of fragrant stars.

In the night we shall go in
up to its trembling firmament,
and your little hands and mine
will steal the stars.

And silently,
to our house,
in the night and the shadow,
with your steps will enter
perfume's silent step
and with starry feet
the clear body of spring.
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7,125 followers
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
“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.”
119 likes
“En el amor, como agua del mar te has desatado.

(In love, you have loosened yourself like seawater)”
72 likes
More quotes…