Then Come Back: the lost Neruda poems translated by Forrest Gander

Fri, 03/10/2017 - 3:03pm -- JGranatino

There was a flurry of excitement in the literary world when a handful of unpublished poems by the Chilean Nobel Laureate, Pablo Neruda, were unexpectedly discovered in 2014 at the Pablo Neruda Foundation in Chile. Often described as “Whitmanesque,” Neruda is one of the greatest poets of the 20thcentury. His poems convey his deep passion for his wife Matilde and his gift for close observation of nature, objects, and people. They demonstrate his skill in choosing arresting and highly original imagery and metaphors. Some poems are complete and some fragmentary, some typed and some handwritten on loose leaf, in journals, or even on menus, but all reveal something about Neruda’s creative process. The book contains reproductions of Neruda’s handwritten originals, with their deletions, annotations, and revisions, and there are excellent accompanying notes for each poem. This beautiful bilingual collection contains English translations by Forrest Gander, Brown University professor and local resident, who describes some poems as “so emotively forceful, I have trouble reading them aloud without my voice cracking.”

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