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The Captain's Verses: Love Poems (New Directions Books) [Kindle Edition]

Pablo Neruda
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The Nobel Prize winner 's classic collection of love poems.


Pablo Neruda, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, finished writing The Captain's Verses in 1952 while in exile on the island of Capri—the paradisal setting for the blockbuster film Il Postino (The Postman). Surrounded by sea, sun, and Capri's natural splendors, Neruda addressed these poems to his lover Matilde Urrutia before they were married, but didn't publish them publicly until 1963. This complete, bilingual collection has become a classic for love-struck readers around the world—passionately sensuous, and exploding with all the erotic energy of a new love.

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Review

`These are love letters as much as poems' -- Roger Garfitt, Poetry Review

From the Author

A classic poetry book in a masterful bilingual edition
Long before he received the 1971 Nobel Prize, Pablo Neruda has attained worldwide recognition as one of the most important figures in contemporary poetry. A fiery poet of leftist politics, he was also a fiery poet of love. This translation of "The Captain's Verses" is a major achievement in the genre of love poetry. Neruda originally published the book anonymously, some years before he married Matilde Urrutia, to whom he had address these poems of passionate devotion as well as love's quarrel's. The first "acknowledged" edition appeared in 1963. In this collection, the Chilean poet's brilliant images are expressed with remarkable directness and simplicity. Donald D. Walsh's translations are presented with the original Spanish verse en face.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rapture and Pathos brought alive 13 Jun. 1997
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I picked up this book, never having read Neruda before, and expecting quite good poetry. I had to stop reading, after several poems; Pablo Neruda's love poetry was so intensely powerful that it overwhelmed my senses. He wrote brilliantly and passionately of the feelings of his soul, at once enthralling yet brutally candid. You suffered along him, you loved the woman he loved. The verses he wrote express the ineffable and indescribable. And the earthly images he creates are potent, almost too potent. His poetry fills your senses and enwraps your soul.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the heart of Neruda 16 Aug. 2003
Format:Paperback
This is a fabulous dual-language collection of some of the most sensual, passionate poems written in modern times. Whether he imagines himself as an insect making a journey "from your hips to your feet", traveling to distant places with his beloved by his side, or as a soldier who must leave but whose love will "go on singing until the end of life", Neruda writes with exquisite simplicity, and great beauty.
I find this to be the most accessible of Neruda's books that I have read, perhaps because its subject was a central part of his life. As explained in the introduction of the book, these poems are autobiographical, and written about his wife, Matilde Urrutia. First published anonymously in 1952, they were released in 1963 under his own name, but only after much thought, because of their "intimate birth".
The translations by Donald D. Walsh are superb. He has captured the fluid rhythm, the emotion, and the fire.
He was fortunate to have had this remarkable relationship, as well as the ability to express his feelings with such uncommon depth, but for those men who lack Neruda's poetic genius, and who would like to melt the heart of the woman they love, this might be the perfect gift to go along with that bunch of flowers.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
From the first words to the last, I found this the most astonishing of works. Neruda captures the true essence of intense feeling. He brings your heart up to the heights and then pulls you down. Such power and passion. A true geneous. If you want a book that moves you, get his.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very profound and deep. 27 Feb. 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
It made me remember how strongly I felt for my true love. Neruda is fiercely passionate and enchanting. Read 20 Love Poems and a Song of Despair first if you haven't read much of him. It gives you leverage and preparation so you can truly feel his emotion in this one.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haunting, moving and profound 24 Sept. 2009
Format:Paperback
Devoted to his lover Matilde Urrutia and published 14 years before these celestial lovers were married, this collection is breathtaking. The Cadence and music of the Spanish version, with its English translation that is direct, intense and moving leaves one in a moved state of poetic ecstasy. It is impossible to read too much, at the sametime the poems can only be digested in small pieces. The paradox of such powerful writing to provoke hunger where most it satisfies!
Nor is it possible to read one language version and not the other. This book gives a beautiful window into the depth of the Spanish speaking heart. Neruda moves the readers heart in ways that many cannot, with a gentility of heart and a fury of passion.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love poetry of purest gold.... 28 Jan. 2012
By LittleMoon VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
This volume of Neruda's poetry is a celebration of his love for Matilde Urrutia; the story of which is told in the film Il Postino. It is a book of poetry that is at once personal and transcendent, for their love could be the love that belongs to all humanity for all time. In his final poem, he hints at this when he writes:

Perhaps a day will come
in which a man
and a woman,
just like us,
will touch this love and it will still have the strength
to burn the hands of those that touch it.

Certainly, 60 years later, it is still aflame and might be forever, as long as there are human beings and desire and the earth itself.

Sections entitled `Love', `Desire', and `The Furies' offer a sense of the journey we will take through these poems which open up the darkness of loving as well as its great light. `The Queen' is one of his most beautiful dedications: "when you appear/all the rivers roar/in my body, bells/shake the heavens,/and the world is filled with a hymn"; `The Wrong Step' one of his most arrogant: "If you take away your life from me/you will die/even while you live." In the fourth section, `Human Lives', we find the influence of Neruda's political struggles; he is the soul of conviction in the section's titular poem: "I am stronger/because I bear within me/not my tiny life/but all human lives". In the final 3 longer poems, we are returned to the passion and glory of love, where even on his travels he carries love "inside a drop of blood that flows in my veins".

Neruda's poetic landscape, his mythology created through recurring symbols, is primeval and elemental.
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