100 Love Sonnets: Cien sonetos de amor (Texas Pan American Series) (English and Spanish Edition)
(92 customer reviews)
Against the backdrop of Isla Negra — the sea and wind, the white sand with its scattering of delicate wild flowers, the hot sun and salty smells of the Pacific — Nobel laureate Pablo Neruda sets these joyfully sensual poems in celebration of his love. The subject of that love: Matilde Urrutia de Neruda, the poet's "beloved wife."
As popular in the Hispanic world as the poet's renowned Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair, One Hundred Love Sonnets has never before been published in its entirety in English translation. The reason for this astonishing neglect may lie in the historical circumstances that surrounded Neruda's "discovery " by English-speaking readers. In the United States he came to popularity during the turmoil of the sixties, when Americans needed a politically committed poet, and much of Neruda's canon answered that need. But, in his native Chile and throughout Latin America, Neruda has always been cherished as dearly for the earthly sensuality and eroticism of his love poetry as for his statements of political belief. To know this work, then is to understand the poet's art more thoroughly.
- Amazon Sales Rank: #317925 in Books
- Published on: 1986-01-01
- Original language: Spanish
- Number of items: 1
- Dimensions: .69" h x 5.89" w x 8.95" l, .76 pounds
- Binding: Paperback
- 232 pages
If you've ever wished for a fresh and imaginative way of saying "I love you" to your beloved, peruse Chilean poet Pablo Neruda's 100 Love Sonnets. This intimate bilingual collection overflows with the master poet's signature sensuality and inventive imagery. Written in the 1950s for his cherished wife Matilde Urrutia, Neruda's earnest adoration leaps off the page in poem after poem: "Your heart is a clay toy shaped like a dove"; "Your kisses are clusters of fruit, fresh with dew." Thanks to translator Stephen Tapscott, Neruda's dreamy images carry over vividly from the Spanish and dance in the mind for days after they're read.
Neruda pays only loose tribute to the sonnet by employing a 14-line structure for each poem. As he says, his sonnets are made of wood, rather than the "silver, or crystal, or cannonfire" of a more refined sonnet. Neruda's humility is apparent as he refers again and again to the natural landscape of Isla Negra (the Pacific island where he and his wife lived) to describe his simple dedication to Matilde: "...I am like a scorched rock / that suddenly sings when you are near, because it drinks / the water you carry from the forest, in your voice."
Journeying from the erotic celebration of the body to the spiritual depths of eternal union, 100 Love Sonnets shows why "two happy lovers make one bread" and "waking, they leave one sun empty in their bed."
From Library Journal
Neruda (the 1971 Nobel Prize winner) wrote these passionate and imaginative sonnets in 1955-57 for Matilde Urrutia, his third wife. Divided into four lush sectionsMorning, Afternoon, Evening, and Nightthey mingle the pure ardor of the Song of Solomon with the extravagant conceits of Renaissance lyricism. Throughout, Matilde is the speaker's erotic microcosm"Kiss by kiss I travel your little infinity,/your borders, your rivers, your tiny villages"but the mountainous terrain of Neruda's "savage homeland" lends a colorful surrealism to the lovers' intimacy. This capably translated work would enhance any collection of contemporary Latin American poetry. Frank Allen, Assoc. Dean, Continuing Education, Allentown Coll., Center Valley, Pa.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"The...expressions of erotic feeling and human affection convey a warmth and immediacy that is direct, delicate, subtle, and strong by turns...." (ALA Booklist)
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful.
Sensual and Beautiful
I really learned about Pablo Neruda after watching the Special Features in the movie Il Postino. Here, several actors read excerpts of his poems. Before this, I had never read much poetry. I fell in love! From there, I bought 100 Love Sonnets. The preface in this book has an especially poignant address to his wife. Neruda crafts his words so beautifully and so sensually. I also bought Essential Neruda and of course, his Twenty Love Poems. I like to believe there is a romantic in all of us. Neruda has a way of bringing that out, of making us appreciate the beauty around us.
On a different note, I don't read Spanish so I can't commment on how well these translations are done. A Chilean friend of mine told me (of course) these are better in Spanish but the translations aren't bad. In any case, they are moving and beautiful. Wouldn't that be what Neruda would have wanted?
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful.
If you buy one book, this has to be it
This book has served many purposes for me. It was a Valentine's Day present for my fiance (then my boyfriend of 3 months). I chose a poem to read at our wedding. I read it for pleasure. I read it to renew my interest in Spanish. I recommended it to everyone and anyone.
Neruda's poetry is nothing short of astounding. This book is perfect, since a lot of people prefer love poetry if they do not normally read poetry. It has the Spanish version on one side of the page, and the English translation on the other.
The poems range from touching to angry to erotic to mournful to playful. Neruda's descriptions will make you look at the world with new eyes. Neruda is one of the only poets I have come across who approached love like Shakespeare: with a variety of emotions and perspectives. Another refreshing thing is that Neruda is very passionate and worshipful of women, never spiteful or cruel. His poetry is also very personal, as much of it seems to be directed toward his wife.
Buy this to find a perfect poem for a reading or speech. Buy it as a gift for a lover or loved one, or a romantic friend. Please, just buy it to have on your library shelf, for your friends and your children to pick up and discover.
0 of 0 people found the following review helpful.
A Great Addition
By Michael Pollard
This book is a must for any personal library. Not coming into popularity in the U.S. until the 60's, Nobel laureate Pablo Neruda was "discovered" by American readers during great turmoil in our country. This anthology will move any reader who appreciates great poetry. I came upon it as a result of watching Robin Williams quoting one of the lines from sonnet XVII in this book in the movie "Patch Adams" at the grave of his murdered girlfriend.