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Isla Negra Paperback – 8 Jul 2002

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Product details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: White Pine Press; Rev Ed edition (8 July 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1893996077
  • ISBN-13: 978-1893996076
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 0.8 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,528,222 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


The greatest poet of the twentieth century in any language. --Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Pablo Neruda moves fast, and Reid follows alertly, ingeniously; his translations in this book are superb. --Robert Bly, New York Times

A passion to connect poetry to everything... There are those still who want to keep poetry esoteric and elitist and away from the quotidian. Like it or not, though, the opposite to this was Neruda s self-appointed project, and it has a lot to do with the fact that his poetry is so enduringly popular. --Matthew Sweeney, Poetry London --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Pablo Neruda, the pen name of Neftali Ricardo Reyes Basoalto, was born in 1904 and became a central figure in every poetry movement of the twentieth century. Neruda had a controversial political career, he served as a diplomat for Chile in many countries, including Spain during the Spanish Civil War and rose to be the Chilean Ambassador to France. However, in 1949 he was forced to flee Chile, crossing the Andes to escape, and lived in exile until 1952. Asked to stand in Chile s Presidential election in 1969 Neruda stood down in favour of his close friend, Salvador Allende. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971 and died in 1973. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By a person on 2 July 2004
Format: Paperback
I haven't had this book for very long, but I can already recommend it to anyone with a love for Neruda's poetry. Many of the poems concentrate on his coming-of-age in a new place, cutting his roots and rebuilding his life on what would come to be known as home; Isla Negra.
Although I have only this book and one other (Selected Poems (Penguin Twentieth Century Classics S.) ~Pablo Neruda), I would recommend people new to Pablo Neruda's work to first read the latter. This is for two reasons. Firstly, 'Selected Poems' has a good collection of poems taken from a variety of different books, giving you a chance to 'taste' the poetry he wrote throughout his life. In contrast, 'Isla Negra' is less expansive in terms of its choice of subjects, and can appear to touch over the same ground more than once. This is only a minor critisism though.
The second reason is that with 'Selected Poems', his work is translated by a number of different people, enabling the reader to see how his poems alter from translator to translator. Reassuringly, Alastair Reid translated some poems from this, too.
There are always debates on whether the true essence of a poem remains once it has been translated into another language. As Neruda is probably the most extensively translated poet in history, it can be quite daunting when choosing what to read. 'Isla Negra' is, however, a book that I doubt will disappoint English readers. Alastair Reid was a good friend of Pablo Neruda's apparently and, as quoted in the 'Translator's Note' at the beginning of the book, Neruda would say: "Don't just translate my poems, I want you to improve them!"
Many of the poems are simply beautiful, I would recommend this book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 6 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Great stuff. Why is it not available? 24 Jan. 2000
By K. Garcia - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just purchased this book of poetry. Wonderful stuff! Exquisite translation. Why is it no longer available? I keep this in the same place as my collection of Elliot poems. But these are warmer, deeply personal reflections of a life. It is like walking through a man's memories while he tells you what each one meant to him.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
brilliant 13 Mar. 2001
By Karam Khan - Published on
Format: Paperback
there are not enough words for this book. enticing and mesmerizing, Neruda remains to me one of the greatest lovers of life. An acute observer of surroundings, a revolutionary, a lover, a man of the world and of the senses. this book is a whirlwind of poetical autobiographical moments and what a wonder it is. recommended to be read quietly and in an atmosphere undisturbed.
a masterpiece.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Yes/ No May Be :) 3 Feb. 2013
By Nosheen - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Neruda's works never cease to impress but this particular set of poems are far too contextualized (as understandable from the title of course) but some of the poems will still strike a chord with Neruda fans.

For me, I have read better from Neruda. Enjoy! :)
A Book that Enhances the Reader's Life 1 Jan. 2013
By Bryan Welch - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
When I want a reminder that life can be full of love, wonder and feeling, I open one of Neruda's books. This one is a beautiful example of this important poet's work and it's great to know I have it with me on my e-reader.
Pablo Neruda Is My Spanish Teacher 25 Nov. 2012
By John Newman - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Imagine Pablo Neruda as your Spanish language instructor. Yummy.--

This volume presents his beautiful poetry in both English and Spanish. If you only know English --What a way to learn Spanish! If you know both the truth of the poems becomes more complex as it resonantes in both languages.
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