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Full Woman, Fleshy Apple, Hot Moon: Selected Poetry of Pablo Neruda

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Mitchell, widely known for his original and definitive translations of spiritual writings and poetry, has taken the work of Neruda (1904-1973), whose poems are passionate, humorous and exceptionally accessible, and brought them to life for a whole new generation of readers.


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Mitchell, widely known for his original and definitive translations of spiritual writings and poetry, has taken the work of Neruda (1904-1973), whose poems are passionate, humorous and exceptionally accessible, and brought them to life for a whole new generation of readers.

30 review for Full Woman, Fleshy Apple, Hot Moon: Selected Poetry of Pablo Neruda

  1. 5 out of 5

    Darwin8u

    "I intend to confuse things, to unite them, make them new-born, intermingle them, undress them, until the light of the world has the unity of the ocean, a generous wholeness, a fragrance alive a crackling." - Pablo Neruda, "Too Many Names" in Full Woman, Fleshy Apple, Hot Moon Neruda has a gift for love poems, a gift for opening the book of life and translating its pages. I bought this book decades ago and it was peeped at, but never fully read. It wasn't his love poems. It wasn't The Captain's Verses. "I intend to confuse things, to unite them, make them new-born, intermingle them, undress them, until the light of the world has the unity of the ocean, a generous wholeness, a fragrance alive a crackling." - Pablo Neruda, "Too Many Names" in Full Woman, Fleshy Apple, Hot Moon Neruda has a gift for love poems, a gift for opening the book of life and translating its pages. I bought this book decades ago and it was peeped at, but never fully read. It wasn't his love poems. It wasn't The Captain's Verses. But upon my maturity, upon my ripening, I've discovered the maturity I need to understand these later Neruda poems. These Odes to the Mundane (Socks, Suits, Ironing, Onions). Neruda is both a South American Whitman and the Western Hemisphere's Horace. He finds gold everywhere. He tears the fleshy fruit from the seeds of truth that have been overlooked. It is easy to write a poem about love, but much harder to see the beauty of an onion. But delicately he unwraps it. He finds eroticism in the everyday. In that way, Neruda reminds me a bit of Edward Weston photographing peppers. His eye captures both the nature of the pepper and the nature of our human stare, our vision, our gaze. He discovers us in the inanimate. He finds humanity writhing under the rocks in the garden.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lora

    "I want to speak with many things and I won't leave this planet without knowing what I came to find, without resolving this matter, and people are not enough I have to go much farther and I have to get much closer." — a portion of "Bestiary", from Extravagaria I truly believe that if every person viewed the world and its life the way Neruda did it would be a much better place. I never would've dreamed that words could be so beautiful when used to describe what I thought were the most mundane of things: "I want to speak with many things and I won't leave this planet without knowing what I came to find, without resolving this matter, and people are not enough I have to go much farther and I have to get much closer." — a portion of "Bestiary", from Extravagaria I truly believe that if every person viewed the world and its life the way Neruda did it would be a much better place. I never would've dreamed that words could be so beautiful when used to describe what I thought were the most mundane of things: socks, onions, salt, etc. The tame, the wild, the sensual, the beauty of life, the rush of life, the air that gives us life — it is all covered in this collection. No stone is left unturned and reading this has truly opened my eyes to help me see how beautiful those stones are. This is a collection of Neruda's later poems, written when he was in his fifties. The translator, Stephen Mitchell, says of his selections in the foreword, "These are the poems of a happy man, deeply fulfilled in his sexuality, at home in the world, in love with life and its infinite particular forms, overflowing with the joy of language." After reading them I can attest to that statement wholeheartedly. These poems are vibrant, magnificent, and entirely beautiful. If I had to pick favorites, I would perhaps say "Ode to the Artichoke" or "Ode to the Seagull," as they were both particularly special for me. But in all truth, I think the one below was my most favorite. By the bye, I have searched for other translations and Mitchell's seems to be the best. "Now we will count to twelve and we will all keep still. This one time upon the earth, let's not speak any language, let's stop for one second, and not move our arms so much. It would be a delicious moment, without hurry, without locomotives, all of us would be together in a sudden uneasiness. The fishermen in the cold sea would do no harm to the whales and the peasant gathering salt would look at his torn hands. Those who prepare green wars, wars of gas, wars of fire, victories without survivors, would put on clean clothing and would walk alongside their brothers in the shade, without doing a thing. What I want shouldn't be confused with final inactivity: life alone is what matters, I want nothing to do with death. If we weren't unanimous about keeping our lives so much in motion, if we could do nothing for once, perhaps a great silence would interrupt this sadness, this never understanding ourselves and threatening ourselves with death, perhaps the earth is teaching us when everything seems to be dead and then everything is alive. Now I will count to twelve and you keep quiet and I'll go." — "Keeping Quiet", from Extragavaria I let out a breath I didn't know I was holding when I finished reading that.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Rowena

    “If we could do nothing for once, Perhaps a great silence would Interrupt this sadness, This never understanding ourselves And threatening ourselves with death, Perhaps the earth is teaching us When everything seems to be dead And then everything is alive.” — Pablo Neruda, Keeping Quiet I loved this poetry collection; it contained so many odes to the most unlikeliest of subjects; ironing, watermelon, chestnuts, the poet's suit, for example.I was more touched than I thought I would be at his odes to ani “If we could do nothing for once, Perhaps a great silence would Interrupt this sadness, This never understanding ourselves And threatening ourselves with death, Perhaps the earth is teaching us When everything seems to be dead And then everything is alive.” — Pablo Neruda, Keeping Quiet I loved this poetry collection; it contained so many odes to the most unlikeliest of subjects; ironing, watermelon, chestnuts, the poet's suit, for example.I was more touched than I thought I would be at his odes to animals and foods; Neruda definitely had a unique way of looking at things. The language was very lyrical and sensual. This book also had the poems in Spanish on the left.That made me wish I had continued to study Spanish, it would have been nice to be able to read the poems in their original language. I will definitely be reading this one again.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Zöe Yu

    This book was left outside of a bankrupted antique bookshop in Israel, I went there a lot of times to rescue books, but this one I omitted. Before being collected as trash, someone picked it up for me, and luckily I didn't trash it ... Then it reminds me how significant a cover design is, people must be judging its content by its book cover, therefore, I will have the chance to save it at last. Because one seldomly knows Pablo Neruda received Nobel Prize in literature in 1971. I didn't know this This book was left outside of a bankrupted antique bookshop in Israel, I went there a lot of times to rescue books, but this one I omitted. Before being collected as trash, someone picked it up for me, and luckily I didn't trash it ... Then it reminds me how significant a cover design is, people must be judging its content by its book cover, therefore, I will have the chance to save it at last. Because one seldomly knows Pablo Neruda received Nobel Prize in literature in 1971. I didn't know this as well. In the middle of my reading, I realized his talent must to led him become someone special, WIKI told me, YES... I didn't like all his Odes to Salt, to all kinds of fruits or even his socks, but I do like poet's thinking. He has a special way of seeing life. And he has a thing with the color Green, both despair and hope, yes? like a black wing. It's wing, for flying, so it's hope, but it's black, bears sorrow. That's the life we remember.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Nathan Timoteo

    What can I say, or write, about Pablo Neruda? The images his words bring to mind seem to become tangible as the reading continues. This book of odes is wonderful, some of my favorite Neruda of all. I especially enjoy the Ode to Birds and the Ode to an Artichoke. Simple, sensual, ponderous and joyful... a wonderful celebration of each poem's subject. If you love Neruda (or poetry in general) I highly recommend this great collection. Enjoy! What can I say, or write, about Pablo Neruda? The images his words bring to mind seem to become tangible as the reading continues. This book of odes is wonderful, some of my favorite Neruda of all. I especially enjoy the Ode to Birds and the Ode to an Artichoke. Simple, sensual, ponderous and joyful... a wonderful celebration of each poem's subject. If you love Neruda (or poetry in general) I highly recommend this great collection. Enjoy!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Adam

    Pablo Neruda is straight-up fantastic and Stephen Mitchell is quite a capable translator, though oddly, I like his work better here than in other translations. My favorite poem ever, "Ode to the Black Panther," is in this book. Pablo Neruda is straight-up fantastic and Stephen Mitchell is quite a capable translator, though oddly, I like his work better here than in other translations. My favorite poem ever, "Ode to the Black Panther," is in this book.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Christiana

    "I don't love you as if you were the salt-rose, topaz/ or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:/ I love you as certain dark things are loved,/ secretly, between the shadow and the soul." Need more be written? "I don't love you as if you were the salt-rose, topaz/ or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:/ I love you as certain dark things are loved,/ secretly, between the shadow and the soul." Need more be written?

  8. 4 out of 5

    Greta

    Pablo Neruda sees things, appreciates things, and he wallows in the beauty of these things he sees and appreciates in his poems. From the ordinary sock to a few people whom he holds dear, Neruda describes the essence of things in a way that enable you to appreciate them too.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Wendy Wakeman

    I love the odes to ordinary things best: an onion, salt, a pair of warm socks (of course).

  10. 5 out of 5

    Hasan Makhzoum

    There is a plethora of vibrant images imbued with the elements of nature in Neruda’s poems... He doesn’t craft his sublime metaphors, he breathes them.. The synesthesia pervades in his romantic language for that every impression, perception and feeling stimulate incessantly his five senses.. the perceptive images are swaddled with aromas, colors, textures, sounds, savors and tastes. Audio of Madonna reciting the poem If You Forget Me https://youtu.be/TAOFi2flycs *** I Crave Your Mouth... I crave you There is a plethora of vibrant images imbued with the elements of nature in Neruda’s poems... He doesn’t craft his sublime metaphors, he breathes them.. The synesthesia pervades in his romantic language for that every impression, perception and feeling stimulate incessantly his five senses.. the perceptive images are swaddled with aromas, colors, textures, sounds, savors and tastes. Audio of Madonna reciting the poem If You Forget Me https://youtu.be/TAOFi2flycs *** I Crave Your Mouth... I crave your mouth, your voice, your hair. Silent and starving, I prowl through the streets. Bread does not nourish me, dawn disrupts me, all day I hunt for the liquid measure of your steps. I hunger for your sleek laugh, your hands the color of a savage harvest, hunger for the pale stones of your fingernails, I want to eat your skin like a whole almond. I want to eat the sunbeam flaring in your lovely body, the sovereign nose of your arrogant face, I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes, and I pace around hungry, sniffing the twilight, hunting for you, for your hot heart, Like a puma in the barrens of Quitratue. *** I Do Not Love You... I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz, or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off. I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret, between the shadow and the soul. I love you as the plant that never blooms but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers; thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance, risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body. I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride; so I love you because I know no other way that this: where I does not exist, nor you, so close that your hand on my chest is my hand, so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep. *** THE WORD recounts Neruda’s poetic perspective about the origin of language The word was born in the blood, it grew in the dark body, pulsing, and took flight with the lips and mouth. Farther away and nearer, still, still it came from dead fathers and from wandering races, from territories that had become stone, that had tired of their poor tribes, because when grief set out on the road the people went and arrived and united new land and water to sow their word once again. And that's why the inheritance is this: this is the air that connects us with the buried man and with the dawn of new beings that haven't yet arisen. Still the atmosphere trembles with the first word produced with panic and groaning. It emerged from the darkness and even now there is no thunder that thunders with the iron sound of that word, the first word uttered: perhaps it was just a whisper, a raindrop, but its cascade still falls and falls. Later on, meaning fills the word. It stayed pregnant and was filled with lives, everything was births and sounds: affirmation, clarity, strength, negation, destruction, death: the name took on all the powers and combined existence with essence in its electric beauty. Human word, syllable, flank of long light and hard silver, hereditary goblet that receives the communications of the blood: it is here that silence was formed by the whole of the human word and not to speak is to die among beings: language extends out to the hair, the mouth speaks without moving the lips: suddenly the eyes are words. I take the word and move through it, as if it were only a human form, its lines delight me and I sail in each resonance of language: I utter and I am and across the boundary of words, without speaking, I approach silence. I drink to the word, raising a word or crystalline cup, in it I drink the wine of language or unfathomable water, maternal source of all words, and cup and water and wine give rise to my song because the name is origin and green life: it is blood, the blood that expresses its substance, and thus its unrolling is prepared: words give crystal to the crystal, blood to the blood, and give life to life. ***

  11. 4 out of 5

    Janet

    I'm not sure how this title came to be. It's a beautiful collection of short poems, many of them odes to things like fruit, animals, his suit, etc. I will keep this book in mind for stressful times because it's really soothing in its simple gorgeousness. I'm not sure how this title came to be. It's a beautiful collection of short poems, many of them odes to things like fruit, animals, his suit, etc. I will keep this book in mind for stressful times because it's really soothing in its simple gorgeousness.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jasonlylescampbell

    This was a great collection. I have read some of Neruda's poetry before, but never come across his Odes before. They capture something about Neruda, how he can be so fun and playful ... and at the same time powerful. Here is are a couple from this collection I really liked: Ode To The Onion by Pablo Neruda Onion, luminous flask, your beauty formed petal by petal, crystal scales expanded you and in the secrecy of the dark earth your belly grew round with dew. Under the earth the miracle happened and when you This was a great collection. I have read some of Neruda's poetry before, but never come across his Odes before. They capture something about Neruda, how he can be so fun and playful ... and at the same time powerful. Here is are a couple from this collection I really liked: Ode To The Onion by Pablo Neruda Onion, luminous flask, your beauty formed petal by petal, crystal scales expanded you and in the secrecy of the dark earth your belly grew round with dew. Under the earth the miracle happened and when your clumsy green stem appeared, and your leaves were born like swords in the garden, the earth heaped up her power showing your naked transparency, and as the remote sea in lifting the breasts of Aphrodite duplicating the magnolia, so did the earth make you, onion clear as a planet and destined to shine, constant constellation, round rose of water, upon the table of the poor. You make us cry without hurting us. I have praised everything that exists, but to me, onion, you are more beautiful than a bird of dazzling feathers, heavenly globe, platinum goblet, unmoving dance of the snowy anemone and the fragrance of the earth lives in your crystalline nature. and Ode To Bird Watching Now Let's look for birds! The tall iron branches in the forest, The dense fertility on the ground. The world is wet. A dewdrop or raindrop shines, a diminutive star among the leaves. The morning time mother earth is cool. The air is like a river which shakes the silence. It smells of rosemary, of space and roots. Overhead, a crazy song. It's a bird. How out of its throat smaller than a finger can there fall the waters of its song? Luminous ease! Invisible power torrent of music in the leaves. Sacred conversations! Clean and fresh washed is this day resounding like a green dulcimer. I bury my shoes in the mud, jump over rivulets. A thorn bites me and a gust of air like a crystal wave splits up inside my chest. Where are the birds? Maybe it was that rustling in the foliage or that fleeting pellet of brown velvet or that displaced perfume? That leaf that let loose cinnamon smell - was that a bird? That dust from an irritated magnolia or that fruit which fell with a thump - was that a flight? Oh, invisible little critters birds of the devil with their ringing with their useless feathers. I only want to caress them, to see them resplendent. I don't want to see under glass the embalmed lightning. I want to see them living. I want to touch their gloves of real hide, which they never forget in the branches and to converse with them sitting on my shoulders although they may leave me like certain statues undeservedly whitewashed. Impossible. You can't touch them. You can hear them like a heavenly rustle or movement. They converse with precision. They repeat their observations. They brag of how much they do. They comment on everything that exists. They learn certain sciences like hydrography. and by a sure science they know where there are harvests of grain.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    What we know is so little and what we presume is so much and we learn so slowly that we ask and then we die. - "Through a Closed Mouth the Flies Enter" And my parents are asking me why I'm so obsessed about learning the Spanish language! This - and a bunch of other Latin American literature - is precisely why! Pablo Neruda has to be one of my favorite poets. I love his style, and the way he manipulates words, as is exemplified in a portion in his poem "The Word": I take the word and move through it, as What we know is so little and what we presume is so much and we learn so slowly that we ask and then we die. - "Through a Closed Mouth the Flies Enter" And my parents are asking me why I'm so obsessed about learning the Spanish language! This - and a bunch of other Latin American literature - is precisely why! Pablo Neruda has to be one of my favorite poets. I love his style, and the way he manipulates words, as is exemplified in a portion in his poem "The Word": I take the word and move through it, as if it were only a human form, its lines delight me and I sail in each resonance of language: I utter and I am and across the boundary of words, without speaking, I approach silence. Prior to reading this beautiful anthology, I've already read some of Pablo Neruda's poems, namely: Poetry, Poet's Obligation, Ars Poetica, and The United Fruit Company. I especially love the first two. On the other hand, in this collection, my favorites would be: Ode to a Watch in the Night, Ode to My Suit, Sonnet XVII, and Bestiary. What I love most about him is his spontaneity and randomness. It was as though Neruda would close his eyes and point at something random. And he would write a poem about whatever that thing was. That's exactly how I felt - I mean, come one, whoever wrote odes addressed to a suit, and even more so, to a pair of socks? Only Neruda would do that, and amazingly, it would just turn out so nicely and perfectly crafted. Reading this anthology was such a rich experience. Every poem transports me to a different world. How can he do that, interweave the most mundane object into something that encompasses everything in the world and in our existence? Some poems can very profound, and I have a feeling that they are allusions of something bigger. Pablo Neruda is famous for his erotic poems, but in this collection, there wasn't much of it, perhaps only in one or two poems. But you wouldn't even have guessed it, because as I have mentioned before, he could turn the most mundane thing into something else. I have read hundreds of poems before, but this would be the first collection that I finished. Goodness, I just realized how unbelievably difficult it is to write a review of poetry! I know I'm just rambling, but I'm not Neruda, and I can't properly wield into words how much I really love and adore this poet.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Andrea Blythe

    I bought this collection of Pablo Neruda's poetry in 2001 and its taken me until now, ten years later, to finish it. This extremely slow pace should not be mistaken for dislike of the book, however. I had not read Neruda's work before I bought Full Woman, Fleshly Apple, Hot Moon. Traveling Mexico, I was looking for a book in Spanish and English that I could read, enjoy, and practice my Spanish with and I remembered that my Spanish teacher had mentioned this poet's name in class at one point. I be I bought this collection of Pablo Neruda's poetry in 2001 and its taken me until now, ten years later, to finish it. This extremely slow pace should not be mistaken for dislike of the book, however. I had not read Neruda's work before I bought Full Woman, Fleshly Apple, Hot Moon. Traveling Mexico, I was looking for a book in Spanish and English that I could read, enjoy, and practice my Spanish with and I remembered that my Spanish teacher had mentioned this poet's name in class at one point. I began reading the book by first reading the poem in Spanish, then in English, then in Spanish again, to begin to get a sense of the poetic phrasing and how the language was translated. As I began reading, however, I fell in love with each new ode and the way Neruda was clearly in love with life, the universe, and everything. He wrote odes to socks, to birds, to onions, to anything and everything this world has to offer. All of these ordinary things, which he layered with sensual and resonant language, suddenly had new mystical properties. I could not look at the armored artichoke the same way again as I dropped it into a pot to boil. One would think I would have powered through the book to read every single poem, but the truth was I could not leave my favorite poems behind. This was a book I always had at hand, on a night stand or in my stack of TBR books. No matter what other books I was reading, I always eventually came back to these poems, returning to them like old lovers. I reread my favorites again and again, while every once in a while progressing forward to the another poem, a new favorite to be added to the list. Now that I've finally finished the book, beginning to end, I will still be keeping it close. There is so much beautiful language to revisit and rediscover. This is a book that will probably always be by my side.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Joshie

    "We were so patient about being, noting down the numbers, the days, the years and the months, the hair, the mouths we kissed, but that moment of dying: we surrender it without a note, we give it to others as remembrance or we give it simply to water, to water, to air, to time. Nor do we keep the memory of our birth, though being born was important and fresh: and now you don’t even remember one detail, you haven’t kept even a branch of the first light. It’s well known that we are born. It’s well known that in the "We were so patient about being, noting down the numbers, the days, the years and the months, the hair, the mouths we kissed, but that moment of dying: we surrender it without a note, we give it to others as remembrance or we give it simply to water, to water, to air, to time. Nor do we keep the memory of our birth, though being born was important and fresh: and now you don’t even remember one detail, you haven’t kept even a branch of the first light. It’s well known that we are born. It’s well known that in the room or in the woods or in the hut in the fisherman’s district or in the crackling canefields there is a very unusual silence, a moment solemn as wood, and a woman gets ready to give birth. It’s well known that we were born. But of the profound jolt from not being to existing, to having hands, to seeing, to having eyes, to eating and crying and overflowing and loving and loving and suffering and suffering, of that transition or shudder of the electric essence that takes on one more body like a living cup, and of that disinhabited woman, the mother who is left there with her blood and her torn fullness and her end and beginning, and the disorder that troubles the pulse, the floor, the blankets, until everything gathers and adds one more knot to the thread of life: nothing, there is nothing left in your memory of the fierce sea that lifted like a wave and knocked down a dark apple from the tree. The only thing you remember is your life." — WE WILL NEVER REMEMBER DYING Other favourites: 2 love sonnets, Births, Ode To A Watch At Night and Walking Around (not officially part of the book).

  16. 5 out of 5

    Polly

    These poems, translated into English on the right side of each spread, are so clear that I can remember the exact words later-- rather than just the idea or the picture. For me, that's a miracle to be able to remember the exact words of something. Here is someone who truly uses words well. I've been contemplating his phrase about cabbages "trying on skirts" in the garden, and his reference to the unity of a "generous ocean" for a month. So these poems are somehow solid, more real, than most word These poems, translated into English on the right side of each spread, are so clear that I can remember the exact words later-- rather than just the idea or the picture. For me, that's a miracle to be able to remember the exact words of something. Here is someone who truly uses words well. I've been contemplating his phrase about cabbages "trying on skirts" in the garden, and his reference to the unity of a "generous ocean" for a month. So these poems are somehow solid, more real, than most words I've ever read. I actually cried over his dde to an onion, maybe the best poem I've ever read. I'm not exaggerating. These poems are so good, I've decided to memorize some in both English and Spanish. These poems are so good, they could be used to each Spanish. These poems are so good, I might actually learn to like reading poetry. Yes, I said that.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Rozzell

    I purchased this book the other night because I was meeting a friend for drinks at a smoky bar, and I had an hour or two to myself before our encounter. It was a lovely November evening with the slight Portland drizzle doing its part to make the night magical. I settled for this collection because it was on sale for seven bucks, and it was the perfect companion for the evening. The beautiful way of Neruda's seeing is inspiring, and instills within me a certain everyday holiness that makes me fee I purchased this book the other night because I was meeting a friend for drinks at a smoky bar, and I had an hour or two to myself before our encounter. It was a lovely November evening with the slight Portland drizzle doing its part to make the night magical. I settled for this collection because it was on sale for seven bucks, and it was the perfect companion for the evening. The beautiful way of Neruda's seeing is inspiring, and instills within me a certain everyday holiness that makes me feel blessed to be alive. Also, this bilingual edition is useful to students of Spanish and students of beauty alike.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Julz

    Give me your slow blood, cold rain, give me your astonished flight! Give me back the key of the door that was shut, destroyed. For a moment, for a short lifetime, take the light from me and let me feel myself lost and miserable, trembling among the threads of twilight, receiveing into my soul the trembling hands of the rain.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Skot

    Sensuality defined. The universe hums with electricity and colour in Neruda's verse. There is an intimacy and vivacity and humour to these poems which I don't think anyone matches so consistently. Mitchell's selections, and his rich translations are superb. Sensuality defined. The universe hums with electricity and colour in Neruda's verse. There is an intimacy and vivacity and humour to these poems which I don't think anyone matches so consistently. Mitchell's selections, and his rich translations are superb.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Amanu

    Best title ever! yummy poetry.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    Neruda is in my top five . . . maybe my top two poets. So great -- and I don't really like poetry! Neruda is in my top five . . . maybe my top two poets. So great -- and I don't really like poetry!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jason Linden

    Good, but uneven. Too much is made up of his odes. There was more to choose from.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    I listened to this on Audible in an attempt to a) read more; b) learn how to use Audible for my class; and c) give audiobooks a chance. I thought poetry would be better than other stuff in audiobook form; I cannot escape the feeling of cheesiness with audiobooks. And poetry probably is better in audiobook form, but what I discovered here is that I'd rather read Pablo Neruda in Spanish, and to do that, I need to read, not listen, because that's just where I am with Spanish. This collection itself I listened to this on Audible in an attempt to a) read more; b) learn how to use Audible for my class; and c) give audiobooks a chance. I thought poetry would be better than other stuff in audiobook form; I cannot escape the feeling of cheesiness with audiobooks. And poetry probably is better in audiobook form, but what I discovered here is that I'd rather read Pablo Neruda in Spanish, and to do that, I need to read, not listen, because that's just where I am with Spanish. This collection itself is compiled really well, at least for my taste. It's mostly "odes" - as in, "ode" is in the title of most of the poems - to everyday objects and the common person. Several fruits and animals are featured, for example. I was listening to this particular collection of Neruda poems particularly to fulfill the Read Harder Challenge's "a collection of poetry in translation on a theme other than love," and while this book is definitely not a collection of romantic love poems, I also hesitate to say it's not a collection of other-forms-of-love poems. I will count it anyway. :-)

  24. 4 out of 5

    Karla KT

    I think I am in the minority here when I say: I just don’t get it... Why is Neruda so popular? Why are his ODES so appealing to people? Most of it seems nonsensical. Don’t get me wrong, I love Ogden Nash and have his entire collection. I get nonsensical. It’s even a TYPE of poetry. I just don’t think this author had that in mind when writing his. These are supposed to be love notes to ordinary things, yet putting pretty words together and saying a lemon is an ocean (I made that up) is really ask I think I am in the minority here when I say: I just don’t get it... Why is Neruda so popular? Why are his ODES so appealing to people? Most of it seems nonsensical. Don’t get me wrong, I love Ogden Nash and have his entire collection. I get nonsensical. It’s even a TYPE of poetry. I just don’t think this author had that in mind when writing his. These are supposed to be love notes to ordinary things, yet putting pretty words together and saying a lemon is an ocean (I made that up) is really asking a stretch of the imagination. I did like ODE to my Suit and ODE to the Tomato. Best of the collection, by far! I also love the fact that the text is mirrored by Spanish. Maybe it’s just supposed to be cool to like Pablo Neruda. I guess I’ll just remain uncool, because this drivel is just not for me.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Despite the overtly sexual title, this isn't a book of sexy poems. (Unless you think seagulls and tomatoes are sexy.) However, the playful Odes, of which there are many, are full of love of the common thing. And, there are sensual, erotic poems in it, as well as poems on love and life. As sort of a bonus, I enjoyed reading (or trying to read) the Spanish version on the right side of the book first, with my pretty rusty Spanish. *I read this slowly over a few years. In between other reading. Despite the overtly sexual title, this isn't a book of sexy poems. (Unless you think seagulls and tomatoes are sexy.) However, the playful Odes, of which there are many, are full of love of the common thing. And, there are sensual, erotic poems in it, as well as poems on love and life. As sort of a bonus, I enjoyed reading (or trying to read) the Spanish version on the right side of the book first, with my pretty rusty Spanish. *I read this slowly over a few years. In between other reading.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Chris Williams

    This is a beautiful collection of work. Containing some of Neruda's more obscure works and less of his famous pieces (though this still has a few), it's the perfect introduction to poetry and its marvels. This man could make a new pair of socks interesting! So prolific was Neruda, that his work spans the gamut of human experience, hence the rather unusual title. This is a great book to pick up again and again, not one you'd generally read from cover to cover. Absolutely recommend getting your ha This is a beautiful collection of work. Containing some of Neruda's more obscure works and less of his famous pieces (though this still has a few), it's the perfect introduction to poetry and its marvels. This man could make a new pair of socks interesting! So prolific was Neruda, that his work spans the gamut of human experience, hence the rather unusual title. This is a great book to pick up again and again, not one you'd generally read from cover to cover. Absolutely recommend getting your hands on a copy.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Fabiola Minda

    Steven Mitchell made a great job translating these poems from Spanish (my mother language) to English. I have read other versions and I can tell that small details make the difference. This, by far, my favorite poem of the book, along with Ode to the tomato: Poem XVII "I don't love you as if you were the salt-rose, topaz or arrow of carnations that propagate fire: I love you as certain dark things are loved, secretly, between the shadow and the soul. I love you as the plant that doesn't bloom and car Steven Mitchell made a great job translating these poems from Spanish (my mother language) to English. I have read other versions and I can tell that small details make the difference. This, by far, my favorite poem of the book, along with Ode to the tomato: Poem XVII "I don't love you as if you were the salt-rose, topaz or arrow of carnations that propagate fire: I love you as certain dark things are loved, secretly, between the shadow and the soul. I love you as the plant that doesn't bloom and carries hidden within itself the light of those flowers, and thanks to your love, darkly in my body lives the dense fragrance that rises from the earth. I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where, I love you simply, without problems or pride. I love you in this way because I don't know any other way of loving. but this, in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate that when I fall asleep it is your eyes that close."

  28. 5 out of 5

    Taryl Elizabeth

    Whenever I hear Pablo Neruda, my mind can't help but think of an writer to understands love and sensuality. "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." Whenever I hear Pablo Neruda, my mind can't help but think of an writer to understands love and sensuality. "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."

  29. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne Powell

    This was a revelation. I am just starting to read and listen to poetry and this blew me away. His detailed, loving descriptions of foods and common objects provide completely new ways of looking at the world. I'm so glad I listened rather than read these poems. The performer was excellent. This was a good introduction to Neruda, a smattering of poems from several collections, great for a neophyte. This was a revelation. I am just starting to read and listen to poetry and this blew me away. His detailed, loving descriptions of foods and common objects provide completely new ways of looking at the world. I'm so glad I listened rather than read these poems. The performer was excellent. This was a good introduction to Neruda, a smattering of poems from several collections, great for a neophyte.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Caroline Mao

    4.5 Not the kind of Neruda I usually read (Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair + Canto General are what I Live For), but really good nonetheless. Neruda has a way of writing that shows not only does he love the world, he convinces you to do it too. Also, Ode to Watermelon really made me want to eat some watermelon.

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