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Isla Negra : Condor Books - A. Reid

Isla Negra

Condor Books

By: A. Reid


Published: 2nd February 2002
Ships: 15 business days
15 business days
RRP $44.95

Written as a present to himself for his 60th birthday, this collection of poems represents a diary that fluctuates between present and past. They chronicle his birth in rural Chile through his travels in India, Europe, Asia, and his return to Isla Negra.

Written in 1962-63, anticipating Neruda's 60th birthday in 1964, these notebooks - named for the poet's home village - begin autobiographically and thereafter, through five books, continue primarily in that mode. There are recurring personal motifs: the mother who died at Neruda's birth; his railroad-man father; the discovery of sex and poetry ("I wheeled with the stars./ My heart broke loose with the wind"). And then comes politics - "pain, pain, the bread of man" - with Neruda as an exile ("we breathe air through a wound"), as a student of the Spanish Civil War (most especially in the "Cruel Fire" book), as a diplomat and a Chilean senator: "I came to lay my burning hand/ on the dry book/ to set it on fire and have it burn." True, much of the poetry here is not the best Nernda; the entire third book ("The Hunter After Roots") is weak and strained; and the longest poem in the whole series - a denunciation of Stalin - is a writhing attempt at self-distancing by a life-long, loyal Communist. Yet there is also brilliant verse in the collection, especially as judiciously translated by Alastair Reid - whose versions are much less frilly than those in Ben Belitt's 1967 selection from the Notebooks. (The standouts: "Tides"; "At Last There Is No One," a poem of death from "Critical Sonata," the final book; and "Night" - "I go into the black air./ Night's on the move,/ patience in its foliage,/ shifting/ its great space.") And though this sequence, diluted by its miscellaneous character, is denied intense poetic concentration, it does offer all of Neruda's qualities, arranged and abounding: the passions and crimes, the images and hungers. (Kirkus Reviews)

ISBN: 9780285649132
ISBN-10: 0285649132
Series: Condor Books
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English , Spanish
Number Of Pages: 440
Published: 2nd February 2002
Publisher: Souvenir Press Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 13.7 x 21.4  x 2.0
Weight (kg): 0.46