Friday, August 21, 2015

Book Review: Love Poems by Pablo Neruda

Criminally pink
     This is probably the sappiest-looking book I own.  It's small, thin, and pink.  The cover is stamped with gold curlicues and gold lettering.  And the title could not be more straightforward.  
     All that aside, damn.     
     I'm not sure what makes these poems so good.  They surprised me by not being cryptic. Normally, when I read poetry, I have to annotate to get the full meaning.  But at no point in this book did I find myself knee-deep in symbolism and in need of a pencil to pull myself out.  (Not that puzzling out a poem isn't fun too, haha.)  I guess the simplicity is part of it.  Neruda wrote these poems to talk about love, not to show off his skills.  
     I loved that, in this edition of the collection, each poem was printed in both Spanish and English.  I liked comparing the English translations to the original poems.  The translations weren't awesome - the words used in English seemed more shallow to me than Neruda's original choices.  But I get it, literary translation is hard.  I tried to translate "Sonetas Desde el Infierno" for school once and it was a hot mess.

     - Carly

     

1 comment:

  1. Not a big fan of poetry, precisely because lf what you said, so cryptic and pretentious, dude, say what you wanna say damn it!

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Thank you for talking to me!! I wish you lots of good books and brownies!