The Captain's Verses

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Overview

The Nobel Prize winner 's classic collection of love poems.
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 ...

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The Captain's Verses: Love Poems

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Overview

The Nobel Prize winner 's classic collection of love poems.
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 become a classic for love-struck readers around the world—passionately sensuous, and exploding with all the erotic energy of a new love.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780811218214
  • Publisher: New Directions Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 2/25/2009
  • Edition description: Bilingual
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 298,338
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Pablo Neruda

Pablo Neruda was born in 1904 in the town of Parral in Chile. He received numerous prestigious awards for his work, including the International Peace Prize in 1950, the Lenin Peace Prize and the Stalin Peace Prize in 1953. In 1971, he won the Nobel Prize for Literature. Two years later he died of leukemia in Santiago, Chile.

Biography

Pablo Neruda (1904-1973), whose real name is Neftalí Ricardo Reyes Basoalto, was born on 12 July, 1904, in the town of Parral in Chile. His father was a railway employee and his mother, who died shortly after his birth, a teacher. Some years later his father, who had then moved to the town of Temuco, remarried Doña Trinidad Candia Malverde. The poet spent his childhood and youth in Temuco, where he also got to know Gabriela Mistral, head of the girls' secondary school, who took a liking to him. At the early age of thirteen he began to contribute some articles to the daily "La Mañana," among them, Entusiasmo y Perseverancia -- his first publication -- and his first poem. In 1920, he became a contributor to the literary journal "Selva Austral" under the pen name of Pablo Neruda, which he adopted in memory of the Czechoslovak poet Jan Neruda (1834-1891). Some of the poems Neruda wrote at that time are to be found in his first published book: Crepusculario (1923). The following year saw the publication of Veinte poemas de amor y una canción desesperada, one of his best-known and most translated works. Alongside his literary activities, Neruda studied French and pedagogy at the University of Chile in Santiago.

Between 1927 and 1935, the government put him in charge of a number of honorary consulships, which took him to Burma, Ceylon, Java, Singapore, Buenos Aires, Barcelona, and Madrid. His poetic production during that difficult period included, among other works, the collection of esoteric surrealistic poems, Residencia en la tierra (1933), which marked his literary breakthrough.

The Spanish Civil War and the murder of García Lorca, whom Neruda knew, affected him strongly and made him join the Republican movement, first in Spain, and later in France, where he started working on his collection of poems España en el corazón (1937). The same year he returned to his native country, to which he had been recalled, and his poetry during the following period was characterized by an orientation towards political and social matters. España en el corazón had a great impact by virtue of its being printed in the middle of the front during the civil war.

In 1939, Neruda was appointed consul for the Spanish emigration, residing in Paris, and, shortly afterwards, consul general in Mexico, where he rewrote his "Canto general de Chile," transforming it into an epic poem about the whole South American continent, its nature, its people and its historical destiny. This work, entitled Canto general, was published in Mexico 1950, and also underground in Chile. It consists of approximately 250 poems brought together into fifteen literary cycles and constitutes the central part of Neruda's production. Shortly after its publication, Canto general was translated into some ten languages. Nearly all these poems were created in a difficult situation, when Neruda was living abroad.

In 1943, Neruda returned to Chile, and in 1945 he was elected senator of the Republic, also joining the Communist Party of Chile. Due to his protests against President González Videla's repressive policy against striking miners in 1947, he had to live underground in his own country for two years until he managed to leave in 1949. After living in different European countries he returned home in 1952. A great deal of what he published during that period bears the stamp of his political activities; one example is Las uvas y el viento (1954), which can be regarded as the diary of Neruda's exile. In Odas elementales (1954-1959) his message is expanded into a more extensive description of the world, where the objects of the hymns -- things, events and relations -- are duly presented in alphabetic form.

Neruda's production is exceptionally extensive. For example, his Obras completas, constantly republished, comprised 459 pages in 1951; in 1962 the number of pages was 1,925, and in 1968 it amounted to 3,237, in two volumes. Among his works of the last few years can be mentioned Cien sonetos de amor (1959), which includes poems dedicated to his wife, Matilde Urrutia, Memorial de Isla Negra, a poetic work of an autobiographic character in five volumes, published on the occasion of his sixtieth birthday, Arte de pajáros (1966), La Barcarola (1967), the play Fulgor y muerte de Joaquín Murieta (1967), Las manos del día (1968), Fin del mundo (1969), Las piedras del cielo (1970), and La espada encendida.

Pablo Neruda died in 1973.

© The Nobel Foundation 1971

Good To Know

Always a political activist, Neruda was an anarchist for a time, but joined the Communist Party of Chile in 1945. He actually ran for president of Chile but eventually left the race to support Salvador Allende.

He had three wives throughout his lifetime: Mar a Antonieta Hagenaar, Delia de Carril, and Matilde Urrutia. He married Mar in 1930, but they divorced in 1936. He lived with Carril from the 1930s until they divorced in 1955 (they married in 1943). In 1966, he married Urrutia.

Neruda owned three homes in Chile that are open today as museums: "La Chascona" in Santiago, "La Sebastiana" in Valpara, and "Casa de Isla Negra" in Isla Negra, where he and his third wife, Matilde Urrutia, are buried.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Neftalí Ricardo Reyes Basoalto (real name)
    1. Date of Birth:
      July 12, 1904
    2. Place of Birth:
      Parral, Chile
    1. Date of Death:
      September 23, 1973
    2. Place of Death:
      Santiago, Chile

Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2004

    Impressive

    Neruda is the man in love with love. He has the power to sink you inside your most profound happiness, awakaning the deepest feelings inside any human being. This book will question your perspective of love

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2001

    He words will penetrate you......

    Neruda is absolutly the most compelling love poet ever. This book is not only a man's testiment to love; but is his personal journey of self exploration. Neruda writes from the heart, soul, and forces that only some people have been fortunate enough to experience. THe book is absolutly beautiful

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2001

    Powerfully sensual

    Every emotion that dwells in the human heart the reader will find in the Captain's Verses. Read and weep as the words penetrate your soul.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 27, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Sensual masterpieces

    I bought this book because for the long time I wanted to read something by Neruda, and this bilingual edition offered an opportunity to read the original Spanish alongside with the English translation. Since I know a bit of Spanish, this was an opportunity to practice it and improve it, as well as get exposed to some of the most sensual and inspiring poems in any language. Neruda's idiom is rich with metaphors, and he takes everyday objects and situations and imbues them with poetic and emotional undertones. This fascination with common objects is particularly useful for someone who is learning Spanish - it provides a great and enjoyable vocabulary-building opportunity. However, be warned - some phrases and words are a bit risque, and you shouldn't be too liberal at trying to impress your Spanish speaking friends at parties. It may lead to some interesting situations.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2011

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