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Pablo Neruda, born Neftalí Ricardo Reyes, was a renowned poet and politician from the South American country of Chile. He was born in the small town of Parral in Chile on July 12, 1904. Neruda started writing poetry at a very young age and received his first official recognition as a poet at the age of ten. Unlike some poets who limit themselves to writing in one genre, Neruda wrote poems in a wide variety of genres, from surrealistic poems to political poems to erotic love poems. He often wrote in green ink, which was his personal symbol for hope and desire. In 1971, Neruda won the Nobel Prize for literature. He was a well-known poet worldwide until his death in his home country in Santiago de Chile on September 23, 1973.
Neruda is famous for a number of his poems, but the most well-known are his first two works: Book of Twilights, published in 1923, and twenty erotic love poems in the collection known as Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair. Both of these works were received incredibly well by critics, although the latter of the two, which was published 1924 and had a follow-up second edition published in 1932, was received with some hesitancy due to its erotic contents, which were considered especially inappropriate since Neruda was so young. Both works have been translated into dozens of languages. Since its publication, Twenty Love Poems has sold millions of copies and is Neruda’s most recognized work.
Twenty Love Poems
Drawn from the most intimate and personal associations, Pablo Neruda’s most beloved collection of poetry juxtaposes the exuberance of youthful passion with the desolation of grief, the sensuality of the body with the metaphorical nuances of nature. Pulitzer Prize-winning poet W. S. Merwin’s masterly translation faces the original Spanish text. This edition also features an insightful Introduction by Cristina Garcia. More than eighty years after its publication, Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair stands as an essential collection that continues to inspire lovers and poets around the world.
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