“This is Neruda at his finest, his eloquence and passion skillfully arranged in an accessible yet profound package.” Publishers Weekly
“This brief visit with Neruda ends all too soon, yet reminds one why his work still matters.” Washington Post
“They are vintage Pablo Neruda, literally and figuratively . . . he makes poetry fans swoon.” NPR
This stunning collection gathers never-before-seen poems, discovered within the Pablo Neruda Foundation’s archives in Chile. Neruda is renowned for an oeuvre that casts away despair, celebrates living and arises from the belief that there is no insurmountable solitude. Then Come Back presents Pablo Neruda’s mature imagination and writing: signature love poems, odes, anecdotal narratives, and poems of the political imagination.
Written on any paper imaginablenapkins, playbills, receiptsand found scattered throughout the Neruda Estate, these poems offer heartache, Chilean pride, and hope found in the changing of the seasons and the chirping of crickets. The acclaimed translator Forrest Gander beautifully renders the eros and heartache, deep wonder, and complex wordplay of the original Spanish, which is presented here alongside full-color reproductions of the poems in their original composition.
I touch your feet in the shade, your hands in the light,
and on the flight your peregrine eyes guide me
Matilde, with the kisses your mouth taught me my lips came to know fire.
Pablo Neruda is one of the world’s most beloved and bestselling poets. He won the Nobel Prize in 1971 and died in his native Chile in 1973.
|Publisher:||Copper Canyon Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
Pablo Neruda was born Neftali Ricardo Reyes Basoalto in Parral, Chile, in 1904. He served as consul in Burma and help diplomatic posts in various East Asian and European countries. In 1945, a few years after he joined the Communist Party, Neruda was elected to the Chilean Senate. Shortly thereafter, when Chile’s political climate took a sudden turn to the right, Neruda fled to Mexico, and lived as an exile for several years. He later established a permanent home at Isla Negra. In 1970 he was appointed as Chile’s ambassador to France, and in 1971 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. Neruda died in 1973.
Date of Birth:July 12, 1904
Date of Death:September 23, 1973
Place of Birth:Parral, Chile
Place of Death:Santiago, Chile
Education:University of Chile, Santiago
Read an Excerpt
1I touch your feet in the shade, your hands in the light,and on the flight your peregrine eyes guide meMatilde, with the kisses your mouth taught memy lips came to know fire.Oh legs bequeathed the creaminessof oatmeal, the battle spread,its heart a meadow,when I put my ears to your breasts,my blood * roused your Araucan syllable.3Where did you go What have you doneAy my lovewhen not you but only your shadowcame through that door,the daywearing itself down, allthat isn’t you,I went searching you outin every cornerimagining you might belocked in the clock, that maybeyou’d slipped into the mirror,that you folded your ditzy laughand leftitto spring outfrom behind an ashtray—you weren’t around, not your laughor your hairor your quick footstepscoming running15Snow-peltedcordilleras,whiteAndes,wallsof my homeland,so muchsilence,they hem-inthe will, the strugglesof my people.Above— the silveredmountains,below— the green thunderof the ocean.Stillthese peoplescratch at their bristlinglonelinesses,they steer throughsheer wavesand in the afternoonthey finda guitar,and go for a walk singing.My peoplenever hold back.I know where they come fromand wherethey’ll go some day with that guitar.That’s whyI’m not unnervedby the bloody sun hung outover the whiteness,the spectral cordillerashutting downthe roads.My peopletoughened their handsquarryingjagged minerals,they knowhard times,and they go on,they keep on.WeChilenos,a poor people,miners,fishermen,we want a tasteof what’s happeningapart from the snow,we scan the seafor messages and news,we’reholding on.Come winterthe Andeslays outits infinite tablecloth,Mount Aconcagua’shoary manefreezes to its white head,the grand cordillerassleep,the peakscoveredwith the same vast sheet,the riversharden up,all across the planetsnow keeps falling,a multiplicity of shivers.Butcome spring,death’s mountainsare reborn,the water’s once againa living substance, a song,and a forgotten weedpokes up,latereverything is scentedwith sweet mint or headyaraucarias,beneath the mournful flightof condorsthe herons shoot outfrom the silence.Thenthe whole cordilleragives itself backto the Chileans,and between the sea and the peaksfires fan out.Springswishes across the mountainwith its suitof breezes,yellow flowerspour gold fragranceinto the earth’sold scars,everything moving,everythingin flight,coming and going,the news of the world,the tendriling forthof history, footstepsof conquistadors overcomeby sheer labor,and tallerthan the highest rocksis man,at the crestof the Andesmankind,the invincibleexpansion,the advance of the people.And at the snow-coveredpinnacle,liftinghis head, his handsstill holding a shovel,the Chilean looks upwithout fear, without sadness.The snow, the sea, the sandall of it is his road.We’ll struggle on. 11If they puta boatnear a Chilean,he jumps in,he exiles himselfand is lost.The rich manheads to Vesuvius,and doesn’t noticethe maternalheights, the highAndean flame,he flies to Broadway,to the Mayo Clinic,to the Moulin Rouge,the poorChilean, with his onlyshoescrosses into Neuquén, theforsaken territories of Patagonia,he hikes the moonrivershorelines of Peru,he sets his hunger downin Colombia,migrates as he can,changing stars like shirts,the Chileanis a crazy womanwith railing eyes,an amiable heart, sky-blue skinor he’s the traveling salesmanwith his wine, guitars,water pipesor he could be the sailorwho gets marriedin Veracruz and never comes backto his island,to his fragrant oceanic Chiloé.14And where are the horses?With so much living and dying,well-schooled peoplewith their good mornings spoken,their clipped so-longs spoken,didn’t have time to say farewellto their root-bound horses. I rode a drop of rainI rode a drop of waterbut I was so little back thenI slid off the earthand my saddle got lostamong horseshoes, low vinesthe man is too hard at work nowto glance into the thick foresthe no longer checks the leavesnor do leaves fall from the sky for himnow the man is hard at workhard at work digging his grave. It’s necessary to see how silence hangsover the quake-rubbled outskirts of Valdiviato know why the buried communitywon’t recognize the communion of rootsbecause those who fell dead theredied before dying. And yet, as they say,the heart is a leafand the wind makes it throb.12I rolled beneath hooves, the horsespassed over me like cyclones,the moment clutched its flags,and riding the student fervorit blew into Chile—sand and blood from niter quarries,coal from back-breaking mines,copper with our bloodpercolating into the snowand so the map was changed,the pastoral nation bristledinto a forest of fists and horses,and before I turned 20 I received,amid the blows of police cudgels,the throbbingof a vast, subterranean heartand to safeguard the lives of othersI understood it was my ownand I came by friendswho will defend me to the lastbecause my poetry,barely even shucked,received the honor of their agonies.