Pablo Neruda (1904-73) was the greatest Latin American poet of the 20th century. A prolific, inspirational poet, he wrote many different kinds of poems covering a wide range of themes, notably love, death, grief and despair. His poetry celebrates the dramatic Chilean landscape and rages against the exploitation of his people, for whom he became a national hero. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1971 for 'a poetry that with the action of an elemental force brings alive a continent's destiny and dreams'.
This book presents fifty of his most essential poems in dynamic new translations, the result of an unprecedented collaboration between a team of poets, translators and leading Neruda scholars who came together to revisit or completely retranslate the poems. Also including some previously untranslated works, this bilingual edition sets the standard for a general, high-quality introduction to Neruda's complete oeuvre.
'What better way to celebrate the hundred years of Neruda's glorious residence on our earth than this selection of crucial works – in both languages! – by one of the greatest poets of all time. A splendid way to begin a love affair with our PABLO or, having already succumbed to his infinite charms, revisit him passionately again and again and yet again' – Ariel Dorfman, author of Death and the Maiden.
'The call for a more accessible collection of Neruda's important poems is answered with The Essential Neruda… The editors and translators know how to extract gold from a lifetime of prolific writing. If you want a handy Neruda companion and don't know where to begin, this is it' – Ray Gonzalez, Bloomsbury Review.
'The best introduction to Neruda available in English. In fact, I can think of few other books that have given me so much delight so easily. At only 234 pages (bilingual), it somehow manages to convey the fullness of Neruda's poetic arc: reading it is like reading the autobiography of a poetic sensibility (granted, the abridged version)' – Dominic Luxford, Austin Chronicle.
The Essential Neruda includes translations by Mark Eisner, John Felstiner, Forrest Gander, Robert Hass, Jack Hirschman, Stephen Kessler, Stephen Mitchell and Alastair Reid, with an introduction by Mark Eisner and a foreword by Lawrence Ferlinghetti.
Bilingual Spanish-English edition