Full Woman, Fleshly Apple, Hot Moon: Selected Poems of Pablo Neruda

Overview

Full woman, fleshly apple, hot moon,
thick smell of seaweed, crushed mud and light,
what obscure brilliance opens between your columns?
What ancient night does a man touch with his senses?

Loving is a journey with water and with stars,
with smothered air and abrupt storms...

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Overview

Full woman, fleshly apple, hot moon,
thick smell of seaweed, crushed mud and light,
what obscure brilliance opens between your columns?
What ancient night does a man touch with his senses?

Loving is a journey with water and with stars,
with smothered air and abrupt storms of flour:
loving is a clash of lightning-bolts and two bodies defeated by a single drop of honey.

The poetry of Pablo Neruda is beloved worldwide for its passion, humor, and exceptional accessibility. The nearly fifty poems selected for this collection and translated by Stephen Mitchell—widely praised for his original and definitive translations of spiritual writings and poetry—focus on Neruda's mature period, when the poet was in his fifties. A bilingual volume, with Neruda's original Spanish text facing Mitchell's English translation, it will bring Neruda's sensuous work to vibrant life for a whole new generation of readers.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061733574
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/30/2009
  • Series: P.S. Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 343,128
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Pablo Neruda

Pablo Neruda (1904-1973), one of the most beloved poets of the twentieth century, was born in Parral, Chile. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1971.

Pablo Neruda (1904–1973), uno de los poetas más renombrados del siglo veinte, nació en Parral, Chile. En 1950 compartió el Premio Internacional de la Paz con Paul Robeson y Pablo Picasso, y en 1971 fue galardonado con el Premio Nobel de Literatura.

Stephen Mitchell's many books include the bestselling Tao Te Ching, Gilgamesh, and The Second Book of the Tao, as well as The Selected Poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke, The Gospel According to Jesus, Bhagavad Gita, The Book of Job, and Meetings with the Archangel.

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

Read an Excerpt

Some Beasts

It was the twilight of the iguana.

From the rainbow-arched battlements
his tongue like a dart
plunged into the greenness,
the monastic ant-swarm walked
through the jungle with melodious feet,
the guanaco, thin as oxygen
in the wide gray heights,
moved wearing boots of gold,
while the llama opened his guileless
eyes in the transparency
of a world filled with dew.
The monkeys braided a thread
endlessly erotic
along the shores of the dawn,
demolishing walls of pollen
and scaring off the violet flight
of the butterflies of Muzo.
It was the night of the alligators,
the night pure and pullulating
with snouts emerging from the slime,
and out of the sleepy marshes
an opaque noise of armor
returned to the earth it came from.

The jaguar touched the leaves
with his phosphorescent absence,
the puma runs on the branches
like a devouring fire
while inside him burn
the jungle's alcoholic eyes.

The badgers scratch the feet
of the river, sniff out the nest
whose throbbing delight
they'll attack with red teeth.

And in the depths of the all-powerful water,
like the circle of the earth,
lies the giant anaconda,
covered with ritual mud,
devouring and religious.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Some Beasts 3
Ode to the Artichoke 9
Ode to Bird-Watching 15
Ode to the Book (I) 25
Ode to the Book (II) 31
Ode to a Chestnut on the Ground 39
Ode to Laziness 45
Ode to the Onion 51
Ode to My Suit 57
Ode to the Tomato 63
Ode to Cesar Vallejo 69
Ode to Watch in the Night 77
Ode to Wine 83
Ode to the Yellow Bird 89
Ode to the Hummingbird 99
Ode to the Seagull 107
Ode to My Socks 113
Ode to the Bee 121
Ode to the Black Panther 131
Ode to the Lemon 137
Ode to the Rooster 141
Ode to Salt 149
Keeping Quiet 155
Horses 159
To the Foot from Its Child 163
Cats' Dream 167
Too Many Names 171
Through a Closed Mouth the Flies Enter 175
Bestiary 179
Ode to the Cat 191
Ode to the Watermelon 199
from One Hundred Love Sonnets (1960): XII 207
from One Hundred Love Sonnets (1960): XVII 209
The Word 213
Ocean 219
Water 221
The Sea 223
It Is Born 225
Standing Naked 227
Bird 229
Serenade 231
To Wash a Child 233
Ode to Ironing 235
Births 237
Spring 241
To Don Asterio Alarcon, Chronometrist of Valparaiso 243
Ode to Acario Cotapos 249
The Night in Isla Negra 257
To Sadness 259
Acknowledgments 263
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Superb translation, beautiful imagery...

    This collection is by far one of the best translated collections I've ever read. Stephen Mitchell (who has also created a brilliant translation of "Gilgamesh") makes Neruda sound as fluid and lush in English as he sounds in Spanish. As someone with a degree in both English and Spanish literature, I can tell you that the translations of these poems are quite accurate, but more importantly, they flow well and naturally, and are some of the most beautiful and sensual poems I've read in any language.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2003

    The Ecstasy that is Neruda...

    No one can capture passion in its primal ecstasy and perfection in quite the way that Neruda can. Neruda's poetry in this book overflows... with joy and sensuality. He transcends mere literature or poetry and hits the core essence of the human experience.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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