Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair

Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair

Pablo Neruda
Poetry
Penguin Books
Paperback, 94 pages
$13.00

In recognition of National Poetry Month, we include this lovely little book of love poems by Nobel Prize winner Pablo Neruda of Chile. While translation from Spanish to English would seem quite simple, it is in fact fiendishly difficult. W.S. Merwin does the absolutely best job possible with these haunting, romantic verses. The Spanish and English versions are on facing pages interspersed with illustrations by Pablo Picasso. These poems were written when he was a young man in the south of Chile recently under the tutelage of Gabriela Mistral another Nobel Prize winning Chilean poet. In his later career he became known as the "Walt Whitman" of Latin American poets, but his deepest and original sensibilities lie in these pages.