Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair by Pablo Neruda

Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair

When it appeared in 1924, this work launched into the international spotlight a young and unknown poet whose writings would ignite a generation. W. S. Merwin's incomparable translation faces the original Spanish text. Now in a black-spine Classics edition with an introduction by Cristina Garcia, this book stands as an essential collection that continues to inspire lovers and poets around the world.The most popular work by Chile's Nobel Prize-winn...

Details Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair

TitleTwenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair
Release DateDec 26th, 2006
PublisherPenguin Classics
GenrePoetry, Classics, Romance, European Literature, Spanish Literature, Fiction, Cultural, Latin American, Literature, 20th Century, Latin American Literature, Nobel Prize

Reviews Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair

  • Danny
    Tonight I Can Write Tonight I can write the saddest lines. Write, for example, "The night is starry and the stars are blue and shiver in the distance." The night wind revolves in the sky and sings. Tonight I can write the saddest lines. I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too. Through nights like this one I held her in my arms. I kissed her again and again under the endless sky. She loved me, sometimes I loved her too. How could one not have ...
  • Richard
    3 THINGS ABOUT THIS BOOK1. I went to Pablo Neruda's house once. Well, I went to one of his houses. He had three of them. I was teaching English in Santiago, Chile at the time. I went to Neruda's house in Valparaiso, which is a beach town. Weirdly enough, I visited on my twentieth birthday, on a lark, because I just happened to be vacationing in a nearby cabin with my host family.The thing that I remember about Pablo Neruda's house is that it's se...
  • Steven Godin
    Sensual poetic beauty, with a lingering sadness, this collection of poems written when Chilean Neruda was only 19 is a remarkable feat, but was not received well for the intense and sexual content, this time being 1924 I can understand why, however, there is no explicit text it's more to do with imagery using the surrounding environment, charting oceanic movements of passion along with the changing weather, to tell of youthful love. " I have gone...
  • Bill Kerwin
    Stephen Dobyns, in his forward to this edition, tells of what occurred at a poetry event in Venezuela, sometime in the ‘60’s. After Chilean poet Pablo Neruda concluded his prepared reading, he opened himself up to requests. The first request, from a member of this audience of six hundred, was for poem #20 from this book (“Tonight I could write the saddest lines”). When Neruda apologized, saying he had neglected to bring that particular po...
  • vie
    I do not love you except because I love you;I go from loving to not loving you,From waiting to not waiting for youMy heart moves from cold to fire.I love you only because it's you the one I love;I hate you deeply, and hating youBend to you, and the measure of my changing love for youIs that I do not see you but love you blindly.Maybe January light will consumeMy heart with its cruelRay, stealing my key to true calm.In this part of the story I am ...
  • Samra Yusuf
    How beautifully fragile we are, that so many things take but a moment to alter who we are, for forever. We are all, just an unforeseen encounter, an unexpected phone call, a diagnosis, a newly found love, or a broken heart away from becoming a completely different person. Our hearts betray us to the places we never thought be visiting, our reasons fail us to the most uninvited chasms we surrender ourselves into, knowingly. Our souls ripped open a...
  • Seemita
    Tempting as it may appear to wrap the poetic pearls from this collection of Neruda’s heartbeats into a warm shawl of erotic wool, do resist it and pause. These loquacious verses that assemble at the nape of a lover or ripple playfully across the soft mountains of a beloved’s waist, magnify when viewed through the dual lenses of night and water . I have said that you sang in the windlike pines and like masts.Like them you are tall and tacit...
  • Gaurav
    I no longer love her, that's certain, but maybe I love her. Love is so short, forgetting is so long. -Pablo NerudaNeruda was accomplished in a variety of styles ranging from erotically charged love poems like his collection Twenty Poems of Love and a Song of Despair, surrealist poems, historical epics, and overtly political manifestos. Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair is an amazing collection of poetry. His words caress the senses; imagery...
  • Jibran
    [Note on edit: This is not a review. These are peals of pleasure of a man drunk on Neruda wine, blurting out extempore, when he finished reading this poetry collection]Pablo Neruda – the name evokes romance and revolution in my consciousness, a riot of metaphors and action, a turbo charged celebration of love and beauty, a flood of high emotions that assails my senses and dulls them so that the only thing I am receptive to when I have Neruda’...
  • Ahmad Sharabiani
    Veinte poemas de amor y una canción desesperada = Twenty love poems and a song of despair, Pablo Neruda Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair, is a collection of romantic poems, by the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, first published in 1924 by Editorial Nascimento of Santiago, when Neruda was 19. It was Neruda's second published work, after Twilight (1923) and made his name as a poet. Twenty love poems and a song of despair was controversial for it...
  • Traveller
    I adore Neruda's poetry. The only reason that I am giving 4 stars and not 5, is because the "woman as a doll" imagery that he seems fond of using put me off every time I came across it...
  • Michael Finocchiaro
    One of the most beautiful collection of love poems ever (and followed by one which will bring tears to your eyes), Neruda is clearly a master of language and feeling and I always derive comfort from every time I read this book. She loved me, sometimes I loved her.How could I not have loved her large, still eyes?I can write the saddest poem of all tonight.To think I don’t have her. To feel that I’ve lost her. To hear the immense night, more im...
  • Luís C.
    It is true that when we are dealing with such an equally popular and admired author, we expect something extraordinary and therefore it spoils the effect of discovery. It was my first Neruda; a bilingual collection (where I had fun reading also the original version) which consists of three small collections of different forms. A very simple writing, but which reaches greatness, where the woman is in the center; all types of women and all types of...
  • Hirdesh
    "Speechless, my friend, alone in the loneliness of this hour of the dead and filled with the lives of fire, pure heir of the ruined day. "It was glorious one ! ! ! As I had seen recently in some friend's review and Crossing my other books, I've chosen to read it first which had been waiting for me so long in my shelf.Well, It's classic poetry with all the poetic devices were glittering in so wonderful form of words along in thread of rhythmic po...
  • David Schaafsma
    One Hundred Love Sonnets: XVIIPablo NerudaPablo Neruda was one of the great poets of the twentieth century, one of the great poets of all time—one of the great love poets, surrealist poets, political poets, poets of odes to common things.I don’t love you as if you were a rose of salt, topaz, or arrow of carnations that propagate fire: I love you as one loves certain obscure things, secretly, between the shadow and the soul.I love you as the p...
  • B. P. Rinehart
    This is a bilingual review: English first, then Spanish./Esta es una reseña bilingüe: inglés, luego español. (Muchas gracias, Miquel.)"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, alw...
  • Apoorva
    Beautiful and sensual with a touch of lingering sadness.One of my favs:Tonight I can write the saddest lines.Write, for example,'The night is shatteredand the blue stars shiver in the distance.'The night wind revolves in the sky and sings.Tonight I can write the saddest lines.I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.Through nights like this one I held her in my armsI kissed her again and again under the endless sky.She loved me sometimes, and ...
  • Jon(athan) Nakapalau
    Achingly beautiful and haunting - words that transition from falling stars to fireflies as you are lost in wanting - highest recommendation.
  • whichwaydidshego?
    I took my time reading this, choosing to savor the succulent, vivid, tactile words. I must say, these poems are luscious! I feel their imagery as much as visualize it. Phrases such as "In the moist night my garment of kisses trembles..." A garment of kisses. How delightful! (I want one!)I also love how he is constantly mixing ideas of fire and water together, as if with love somehow they feed off each other where they should cancel each other out...
  • Shine Sebastian
    Beautiful! Profusion of sweet and tender emotions poured at will. Sensual, poetic, nostalgic and melancholy.
  • Jareed
    Neruda does not play with the intangible. He does not waste words with the abstract. One simply needs to read and take in the pure and stark versification of the sensualities of life, both in love and lust. Neruda’s distinct style in poetry is easily distinguishable. First, his work is intuitive of the austere beauty of nature and his Chilean roots. The verses are reflective of the uncompromising beauty of the environment that he has witnessed ...
  • Roy Lotz
    Oh, the power to celebrate you with all the words of happinessTo sing, to burn, to flee, like a church bell in the hands of a madman. Pablo Neruda is the most famous Spanish-speaking poet of the 20th century, perhaps in all of literature. He published this, his most popular book, when he was 19 years old—a fact which will fill you with hope or despair, depending on your age. Yet it is youth (being the period in which love is felt most and under...
  • Antonio
    “Tonight I can write the saddest linesI loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.” I'm still drunk on Neruda's poems and to be honest, I'm not sure I'll sober up again anytime soon. The author's words seem to draw you into a kind of trance in which you start to say the poems out loud, creating a mixture of the poet's feelings and yours. You then keep the trance by listening to your own words, Neruda's words spoken through your tongue; the so...
  • Brian
    Quick Update, 7-8-17:I didn't intend to review this again. In honesty, I'm trying to hit 150 for complete reads this year, which makes about four per week. I own a copy of this now and I knew how quickly I could read it. I'm shocked, stunned, mesmerized. I read some of his other writings and they didn't impact me the same, so I put Neruda at 20 on my list. Now I've moved him up to number 2, just under Kafka. The collection reads like a love story...
  • Tracey
    Poems that I loveThe Cataract of LodoreBY ROBERT SOUTHEY  From its sources which well In the tarn on the fell; From its fountains In the mountains, Its rills and its gills; Through moss and through brake, It runs and it creeps For a while, till it sleeps In its own little lake. And thence at departing, Awakening and starting, It runs through the reeds, And away it proceeds, Through meadow and glade, In sun and in shade, And throu...
  • Fareya
    "Always, always you recede through the eveningstowards where the twilight goes erasing statues." An enduring collection of exquisite verses. Even though translated from Spanish, these words sound eloquent and lyrical.Simple, sensual, beautiful words filled with tenderness and a vivid imagination."I will bring you happy flowers from the mountains, bluebells,dark hazels, and rustic basket of kisses.I wantto do with you what spring does with the che...
  • Ilze
    Has anyone read and understood the Song of Solomon? Neruda must have. And he must have understood it too! These poems are more than just about the physical love between man and woman: they are about what happens to the soul. For some reason pine trees feature a fair amount here, from " ... as I love you, the pines in the wind / want to sing your name with their leaves of wire" to "I have said that you sang in the wind / like the pines and like th...
  • Abubakar Mehdi
    The memory of you emerges from the night around me.The river mingles its stubborn lament with the sea.Deserted like the wharves at dawn.It is the hour of departure, oh deserted one! Cold flower heads are raining over my heart.Oh pit of debris, fierce cave of the shipwrecked.In you the wars and the flights accumulated.From you the wings of the song birds rose.You swallowed everything, like distance.Like the sea, like time. In you everything sank!...
  • Kara
    Nature and love are probably two of the world’s most mysterious offerings. His poems consistently bring the two together and takes the reader into the innocence of true love, immense passion and complete surrender. He enhances the experience by calling attention to the natural beauty of the world around us, a beauty that can also be found within us.
  • Maru Kun
    Quiero hacer contigolo que la primavera hace con los cerezosI want to do with youwhat spring does with the cherry trees I think I will memorize this in Spanish. You never know when it may come in useful.