The Essential Neruda
About the Book
This bilingual collection of Neruda's most essential poems will prove indispensable. Selected by a team of poets and prominent Neruda scholars in both Chile and the U.S., this is a definitive selection that draws from the entire breadth and width of Neruda's various styles and themes. An impressive group of translators that includes Alistair Reid, Stephen Mitchell, Robert Hass, Stephen Kessler and Jack Hirschman, have come together to revisit or completely retranslate the poems; and a handful of previously untranslated works are included as well. This selection sets the standard for a general, high--quality introduction to Neruda's complete oeuvre.
"The call for a more accessible collection of Neruda's important poems is answered with City Lights' The Essential Neruda, a 200-page edition that offers 50 of Neruda's key poems. The editors and translators know how to extract gold from a lifetime of prolific writing. If you want a handy Neruda companion and don't know where to begin, this is it."—The Bloomsbury Review
" ...The Essential Neruda will prove to be, for most readers, the best introduction to Neruda available in English. In fact, I can think of few other books that have given me so much delight so easily. At only 234 pages (bilingual), it somehow manages to convey the fullness of Neruda's poetic arc: Reading it is like reading the autobiography of a poetic sensibility (granted, the abridged version)."—The Austin Chronicle
"This book is a must-have for any reader interested in a definitive sampling of the most essential poems by one whom many consider one of the best poets of the 20th century."—Mike Nobles, Tulsa World
"What better way to celebrate the hundred years of Neruda's glorious residence on our earth than this selection of crucial works - in both languages! - by one of the greatest poets of all time. A splendid way to begin a love affair with our Pablo or, having already succumbed to his infinite charms, revisit him passionately again and again and yet again."—Ariel Dorfman, author of Konfidenz and The Nanny and the Iceberg
"If the notion had struck Pablo Neruda, I am quite sure that like Fernando Pessoa and Antonio Machado he would have given birth to what the former called heteronyms. Like Pessoa especially, Neruda can be several poets according to where he is and when and what his mood might be. It is quite fitting therefore that his work in this anthology be shared by various translators, for, ideally, a translator is but another heteronym speaking in a different tongue and at a different time. Neruda is well served here by these other voices of his."—Gregory Rabassa
Pablo Neruda was born in Chile in 1904. He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971.
About the Book
Pablo Neruda is regarded as the greatest Latin American poet of the 20th century. Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1971, his breadth of vision and wide range of themes are extraordinary, and his work continues to inspire new generations of writers.
Jessica Powell has translated numerous Latin American authors, including works by César Vallejo, Jorge Luis Borges, Ernesto Cardenal, Maria Moreno, Ana Lidia Vega Serova and Edmundo Paz Soldán. Her translation (with Suzanne Jill Levine) of Adolfo Bioy Casares and Silvina Ocampo's novel Where There's Love, There's Hate, was published by Melville House in 2013. She was the recipient of a 2011 National Endowment for the Arts Translation Fellowship in support of her translation of Antonio Benítez Rojo's novel Woman in Battle Dress (City Lights, 2015), which was a finalist for the PEN Center USA Literary Award for Translation. Her translation of Wicked Weeds by Pedro Cabiya was named a finalist for the 2017 Best Translated Book Award.
Mark Eisner conceived, edited, and was one of the principal translators for The Essential Neruda: Selected Poems (City Lights, 2004). For Neruda's centennial that year, Eisner was interviewed by Renee Montaigne on NPR's Morning Edition. Eisner has also written what the bestselling novelist Cristina García called a "definitive" biography on Neruda, Neruda: The Poet's Calling, one that "reads like a beautifully written novel," forthcoming from a major publisher in March 2018. Finally, he is currently producing a documentary on Neruda, to be completed in 2018, with support from Latino Public Broadcasting. An initial, short version of the documentary, narrated by Isabel Allende, won the Latin American Studies Association Award of Merit. Other work includes his critically acclaimed translation of the Spanish poet and scholar Tina Escaja's award-winning book-length poem Free Fall / Caída Libre (Fomite Press, 2015.) He was also involved with the founding of the literary non-profit Red Poppy Art House in San Francisco. He and Escaja also co-edited a forthcoming multilingual anthology of Latin American Poetry in Resistance, a project of Red Poppy, dedicated to promoting the power of Latin American poetry to evoke social consciousness.