Saturday, 8 December 2007

Neruda's Selected Poems

Pablo Neruda (1904 -1973) won the 1971 Nobel Prize for Poetry. His 'Selected Poems' from Penguin Classics, originally published in 1970 by Cape, contains excellent English translations.
P-i-R's pick from this Chilean poet's bristling bag includes no lemons. Highly recommended are:-

Death Alone, Barcarole, Walking Around, Ode with a Lament, There's No Forgetting (Sonata) - from Residencea en la terra (1935),
I'm Explaining a Few Things, The Way Spain Was, Furies and Sufferings - from Tercera Residencia (1947),
They Come for the Islands (1493) - from Canto general (1950),
Religion in the East - from Memorial de Isla Negra (1964)

An extract from the 'They Come for the Islands' -

The children of day saw their smiles smashed
. . .

and when time danced around again

. . .

Nothing was left but bones
rigidly fastened in the form of a cross
to the greater glory of God
and of men

. . .

And an extract from 'Religion in the East' -

serpent gods entwining
the crime of being born

. . .

fierce gods made by men

. . .

the whole earth reeking of heaven
and heavenly merchandise

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